AWS revenues soar to help Amazon hit $3bn profit

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Amazon Web Service's cloud sales have soared to hit $5.1bn in its 2017 fourth quarter financial results, showing the appetite for cloud services is not slowing down.

Compared to the same quarter in 2016, AWS saw a hike in revenue of 45%, thoroughly trouncing the $3.5bn it made a year earlier.

AWS' success helped fuel Amazon's overall revenue for the full-year, which came in at $177.9bn, rising by 31% against the previous fiscal year and seeing the company hit $3bn in profits.

This rise in cloud revenue was bolstered by the likes of Symantec selecting AWS to be its infrastructure provider, along with other major firms such as games publisher Ubisoft, connected products manufacturer Honeywell, National Football League (NFL), and financial services heavy-hitter Capital One.

Amazon also noted that it expanded its AWS cloud infrastructure, including launching a new region in France and a second region in China, all of which expanded the footprint of its cloud services. And it revealed plans to open 12 more AWS Availability Zones between now and early 2019.

Despite this cloud success, Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos championed Amazon's work with artificial intelligence notably with its Alexa virtual assistant which has seen more adoption and development of third-party integrations.

"We've reached an important point where other companies and developers are accelerating adoption of Alexa," said Bezos.

"There are now over 30,000 skills from outside developers, customers can control more than 4,000 smart home devices from 1,200 unique brands with Alexa, and we're seeing strong response to our new far-field voice kit for manufacturers."

Amazon's largest money spinner is unsurprisingly its e-commerce business. But the current crop of financial results show having its fingers in the cloud and AI pies are serving it well and are going to be growth areas for the company as it progresses through 2018.

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland is a passionate newshound whose journalism training initially involved a broadcast specialism, but he’s since found his home in breaking news stories online and in print.

He held a freelance news editor position at ITPro for a number of years after his lengthy stint writing news, analysis, features, and columns for The Inquirer, V3, and Computing. He was also the news editor at Silicon UK before joining Tom’s Guide in April 2020 where he started as the UK Editor and now assumes the role of Managing Editor of News.

Roland’s career has seen him develop expertise in both consumer and business technology, and during his freelance days, he dabbled in the world of automotive and gaming journalism, too.