AWS sales jump 78 percent

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AWS sales jump 78 percent

Parent company posts surprise profit.

A 78 percent increase in Amazon Web Services' net sales over the past quarter has pushed parent company Amazon to a surprise profit and accompanying share price boost.

Amazon today reported a profit of US$79 million, compared with a loss of US$437 million a year ago. 

Net sales for the ecommerce giant jumped 23 percent to US$25.4 billion. Analysts had expected revenue of US$24.9 billion.

The company's shares rose 11 percent to US$625 after closing at US$563.91 following the announcement.

Amazon's results were attributed to cutting down on costs as well as growth in its AWS business.

The cloud computing unit posted net sales of US$2.1 billion, a 78 percent jump on the same three-month period in 2014.

Amazon declined to provide forecasts for long-term margins for AWS to analysts.

During the quarter, AWS formed a partnership with Accenture aimed at assisting customers with migration to AWS; introduced the QuickSight business intelligence tool, Snowball data transport appliance, and a database migration service; and launched an internet of things managed cloud platform.

It also introduced three new application services: Amazon Inspector, Config Rules and the WAF web application firewall.

AWS has more than 1 million customers in more than 190 countries.

It's only the third time Amazon has broken out the financial performance of its cloud computing business.

The company detailed the revenue of AWS for the first time in April this year, revealing the business brought in just over US$5 billion in sales in the 12 months to March 2015.

In its July quarterly results, AWS posted a near-doubling of profits, reporting sales of US$1.82 billion for the three months.

AWS is the fastest growing segment of Amazon's overall business, and now accounts for 8 percent of the company's total sales, compared to 6 percent this time last year.

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