Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 6 December 2020

Amazon and Facebook announce soaring profits hours after Big Tech hearing in US Congress

Second-quarter results from all under-fire tech giants were better than expected

Big Tech companies have posted stellar results just hours after a US congressional hearing criticised their chiefs as "cyber barons".

Amazon's year-on-year profits nearly doubled in the three months to the end of June.

The results from Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google's parent company Alphabet exceeded expectations, highlighting the tech giants' grip on the consumer purse.

This dominion increased over the months of lockdown in which there was a boom in e-commerce and an even greater reliance on the internet.

The tale of Big Tech's day to remember is told here, and below is a gallery chronicling how events from the fiery hearing unfolded.

Amazon and Facebook profits nearly double

Amazon profits nearly doubled to $5.2 billion (Dh19.1bn) on sales that climbed 40 per cent to $88.9bn.

"This was another highly unusual quarter, and I couldn't be more proud of and grateful to our employees around the globe," said Amazon founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos.

Sales rose in its grocery, video and cloud-computing operations.

Amazon told investors it expected to spend all of its profits this year on costs related to keeping employees and customers safe during the pandemic.

Facebook reported a similar percentage jump with its profits doubling to $5.2bn compared with the same period last year, when it paid a hefty fine to US regulators.

Revenue rose 11 per cent to $18.7bn, suggesting the advertising boycott has over its handling of hate speech has had little impact.

Apple's accessories boost profits

Apple profits rose 8 per cent to $11.2bn and revenues were up 11 per cent to $59.7bn in the second trading quarter.

There was a modest increase in iPhone sales but a significant rise in sales of accessories and services such as apps and digital content.

The news will delight chief executive Tim Cook as his company gears up for the release of the new iPhone in April.

Google parent company Alphabet the outlier

Alphabet reported a rare drop in revenue and profit in its quarterly update, although it still beat market expectations.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai wion't be thrilled at Alphabet's profit drop. AP
Google CEO Sundar Pichai wion't be thrilled at Alphabet's profit drop. AP

Profit slumped about 30 per cent to $6.96bn, with the company's reliance on digital advertising proving harmful given the Covid-induced plunge in marketing expenditure.

Updated: July 31, 2020 05:41 AM

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