Amazon Web Services Makes £1 Billion First Quarter Revenue

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E-commerce giant finally reveals massive Amazon Web Services public cloud earnings for the first quarter of 2015

Financial results for Amazon’s cloud computing business have been released for the very first time, revealing the division took in first quarter revenues of $1.57bn (£1.04bn), up from $1.05 billion (£700m) the previous year.

The company as a whole reported first quarter revenue of $22.72 billion (£15bn), a 15 percent increase from last year.

“Amazon Web Services is a $5 billion business and still growing fast — in fact it’s accelerating,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in a statement today.

“Born a decade ago, AWS is a good example of how we approach ideas and risk-taking at Amazon. We strive to focus relentlessly on the customer, innovate rapidly, and drive operational excellence. We manage by two seemingly contradictory traits: impatience to deliver faster and a willingness to think long term. We are so grateful to our AWS customers and remain dedicated to inventing on their behalf.”

Amazon Web Services, which is one of the most successful public cloud services in the world, was launched nine years ago. However, quarterly and annual financial results from Amazon placed the Amazon Web Services (AWS) business into a category named “other”, so the exact fiscal figures for the cloud service were only known to insiders as they were mixed with other Amazon income avenues.

Going public

In 2014, Amazon Web Services broke the one million customer mark, with usage growing 90 percent year-over-year. 2014 also saw AWS pushed out 515 new releases and services for the platform. AWS customers include Adobe, NASA, and Netflix, and it competes against cloud rivals such as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

In January, Amazon CFO Tom Szkutak said: “In terms of AWS, we just think it’s an appropriate way to look at our business for 2015. And so our plan is to separating it out as of Q1 of this year.”

In Amazon’s previous quarter, the “other” section reported $1.67 billion (£1.1bn) in revenue, a 43 percent rise year-over-year. $1.02 billion (£700m) of this “other” revenue came from North America.

Amazon Web Services
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

David Bradshaw, cloud research manager at IDC, told TechWeekEurope: “AWS has kept its pace of innovation high, continuously introducing new types of services and extensions to existing services, and I expect that we will see continued strong revenue growth in the company’s public cloud services in Europe as a result.

“There is no shortage of competitors in the IaaS market, and some competitors have recently been growing even faster than AWS. However, they all have a long way to go before they can present a serious challenge to AWS’s market leadership.”

As a whole, Amazon’s operating cash flow increased 47 percent to $7.84 billion (£5.21bn) year-over-year in the first quarter of 2015. Free cash flow increased to $3.16 billion (£2.1bn) year-over-year.

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