Amazon sales up 39% as Jeff Bezos praises rise of Alexa

Amazon continues to move towards becoming one of the world's first trillion dollar companies as it reported a 39% sales increase in its latest financial results.

The e-commerce and technology giant reported net sales of $52.9bn, up from $38bn in the same quarter last year.

While this was slightly below analyst expectations of just over $53bn, the company's profits were much higher than anticipated, at $2.5bn, up from $197m this time last year.

It was expected the company would report net income of around $1.2bn.

In his statement on the results, Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos chose to focus on the success of the company's virtual assistant, Alexa.

The artificial intelligence-powered assistant started life as the heart of Amazon's Echo line of smart speakers, but is now becoming increasingly integrated into other devices.

"We want customers to be able to use Alexa wherever they are," Mr Bezos said.

There are now tens of thousands of developers across more than 150 countries building new devices using the Alexa Voice Service, and the number of Alexa-enabled devices has more than tripled in the past year.

"Our partners are creating a wide variety of new Alexa-enabled devices and experiences, including soundbars from Polk and Sonos, headphones from Jabra, smart home devices from ecobee and First Alert, Windows 10 PCs from Acer, HP, and Lenovo, and cars from automakers including BMW, Ford, and Toyota."

Elsewhere in the results, Amazon's cloud computing platform Amazon Web Services (AWS) also reported growth on the same period last year as it remains a crucial part of the firm's business.

Operating income for AWS was up to $1.6bn from $916m this time last year.

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