Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Amazon Prime price hike begins next month

Annual Amazon Prime Membership Cost Rises to $119 Amazon Increases Prime Membership Price In US To $119 From $99
Jerome Frank | 27 April, 2018, 12:04

New users will have to pay $119 for Prime starting on May 11, though existing Prime members will have until June 16 to renew their membership at the current $99 price-point, the company announced. Olsavsky added that the company had been experiencing "rises in cost" for providing some of the perks Prime offers like shorter shipping times and access to video streaming. Prime members can now get more than 100 million products through free two-day shipping compared to 20 million in 2014. For the first time, it has released the number of Prime subscribers worldwide, which Amazon says now is over 100 million.

The point was reiterated during the earnings call on Thursday, even as the company announced a hike in fees for Prime membership in the USA by 20% to $119.

Subscription services, which include Amazon's popular Prime offering, generated revenue of $3.1 billion, up 56% from a year earlier. The retailer's net profit, meanwhile, hit $1.6 billion in Q1 2018, up from $724 million in Q1 2017. Analysts estimated operating income of $1.13 billion of operating income and sales of $52.3 billion. First quarter sales are up 43 percent to $51 billion, compared to past year. Advertising and "Other" sales, including from co-branded credit cards, grew 139 per cent to US$2.03 billion.

The price hike comes as Amazon reported strong earnings for the first quarter of 2018, with $51.04 billion in revenue.

"The Prime program continues to drive great strength to our top line", Brian Olsavsky, Amazon's chief financial officer, said in a Thursday earnings call with analysts. It acquired Whole Foods Market for US$13.7 billion previous year to help it send groceries to shoppers' doorsteps. The company lost billions of dollars for more than a decade as it spent heavily to expand an e-commerce business with razor-thin margins.

"Amazon continues the trend of investment-fueled revenue expansion", Charlie O'Shea, lead retail analyst for Moody's, wrote in a note to clients.

In a statement, Bezos called out the division.

Seemingly jealous of his ever-increasing wealth, Trump tweeted: "If @amazon ever had to pay fair taxes, its stock would crash and it would crumble like a paper bag".

Inc. reminded investors on Thursday that scraping by selling things online was just the beginning.

The former comment refers to Amazon's tax practices, which have been slammed both in the USA and the EU.

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