Amazon Logs A Small Australian Loss


Amazon’s early days in Australia are not all smooth sailing as the eCommerce giant seeks to gain a foothold down under. According to official filings, Amazon posted a slight loss in its early Australian days.

Amazon first launched in Australia on December 5th, though it spent much of the year that preceded that preparing for its market debut. That run-up, when they were spending money in-nation without actually selling anything there, was when it racked up a modest loss around AU$9 million (US$6.6 million).

During its first few weeks in business — the holiday retail period that lasted through December 31 — Amazon managed to put in AU$6.3 million in retail sales, just a piece of the AU$26.3 billion earned that month.

It is an interesting data point to be sure, but according to experts, probably not one that is overly important or indicative of future performances. The problem, said Evan Lucas, chief market strategist at InvestSMART, is time. Specifically, in the period named there simply wasn’t enough of it to make any kind of meaningful or interesting deductions about future patters.

“Amazon is not the kind of company that accepts failure — they have a longer term goal,” Lucas said.

Getting up and going in Australia, however, isn’t entirely easy. There have been logical snafus that managed to irritate local shoppers — trying to force them onto the Australian Amazon platform instead of letting them access foreign versions of the site, for example.

Amazon is forecasting a powerful fall season in terms of sales for its global operations and posted $2.5 billion in quarterly profit. That was double Wall Street targets and was driven not by the iPhone alone, but also by services like cloud computing and newly opening areas like advertising.