However, the level of investment has dropped on last year, where related party revenues comprised half of Amazon Australia’s total revenue, showing the local business is beginning to rely less on its parent company’s income.
Revenue from third-party sellers, which refers to Amazon’s marketplace business, jumped to $126 million. The retailer has also seen a successful uptake of its Prime subscription service, which provides free shipping along with access to various TV shows and movies, with revenue nearly tripling to $90 million for the year.
However, despite the surge in sales, the business still reported a loss for the year as expenses rose in tandem with sales. Amazon Australia’s net loss for the year came in at $3.8 million, a minor improvement on 2019’s $4.7 million loss. The company paid $18.3 million in income taxes.
Amazon spent more on marketing in 2020 and also spent nearly $100 million on short-term employee benefits. The cost of professional fees paid by the business also nearly tripled to $60 million.
The company’s status as a billion-dollar company will likely ruffle the feathers of other major Australian online retailers who have been dismissive of the business’ slow start in the region.
The retailer has been slowly but steadily improving its foothold in the local retail industry, announcing last year it was building a mammoth 200,000 square metre robotic fulfilment centre in Sydney’s west, which the company said would double its fulfilment capacity in Australia.
Last year also marked the first full year at the helm for Amazon’s new country manager Matt Furlong. Total executive remuneration for the year came in at $1.8 million.
“Over the past year, our focus has remained on the health and safety of our people, helping customers stay home and safe by delivering products directly to their door, and supporting local communities and selling partners during this challenging time,” a spokesperson said.
Amazon’s US parent entity recently reported its fourth-quarter sales of $US125.6 billion ($163 billion), a 44 per cent rise on the same quarter in 2019. It also announced that founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos would be stepping down, handing the reins over to long-term executive Andy Jassy.
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Dominic Powell writes about the retail industry for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.