Amazon Forays Into Australia With Small Loss

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Amazon Forays Into Australia With Small Loss
Highlights
  • Amazon posted a modest loss in its earliest days
  • These figures are unlikely to be indicative of the future performance
  • Amazon had hit logistical snafus in Australia's vast interior

Online retail giant Amazon.com, whose entry into Australia last year rattled established bricks-and-mortar retailers, posted a modest loss in its earliest days in the country, corporate filings show.

Amazon's foray into Australia was met with fevered attention from investors and a steep selldown in traditional retail stocks.

The US company launched its website on December 5, though it ran preparatory operations through the year, racking up a modest loss of almost AUD 9 million ($6.6 million).

In the Christmas trading weeks from the launch to December 31, it turned over AUD 6.3 million in direct sales versus total Australian retail sales of AUD 26.3 billion that month.

These figures, however, are unlikely to be indicative of the future performance of a company that reported losses and roller-coaster results for years, but is now the second-biggest company in the world and closely watched on Wall Street.

The Australian trading period was too short for meaningful analysis, said Evan Lucas, chief market strategist at fund manager InvestSmart.

"Amazon is not the kind of company that accepts failure - they have a longer term goal."

Amazon hit logistical snafus in Australia's vast interior and handed eBay - market leader in Australia - some victory after a move last month to block Australians from shopping on its foreign websites drew customer backlash.

A spokesman for Amazon declined to comment on the filing and directed Reuters to previous commentary about record Australian sales during a promotion in July without quantifying them.

The filing was lodged in April but the results were not reported at the time. They were first reported on Friday by the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

© Thomson Reuters 2018

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