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Amazon raises concerns with sales forecast

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Amazon forecasts lower-than-expected sales in the first three months of the year, raising investors' concerns about a slowdown in growth.

Shares of the Internet giant fell by almost 5% during off-hours, despite a record of sales and profits during the Christmas holidays.

Amazon expects sales to grow from 10% to 18% in the first quarter, which is slightly below analysts' forecasts.

The firm said it was partly to blame for the currency exchange rate.

  • As Jeff Bezos raised the Amazon to the top
  • Amazon's market value exceeds $ 1 trillion

Three months before the end of the year, which included a crucial Christmas period, profits rose 63% to 3 billion dollars (2.2 billion pounds), while revenue grew 20% to 72.4 billion dollars.

Although it was better than analysts had expected, it was the slowest sales growth since the beginning of 2015.

The increase in the company's profits is largely due to the growth of its high-yield companies, including cloud, advertising and third-party services for sellers.

Amazon’s cloud-based Amazon Web Services division, which provided two-thirds of the firm’s profit last quarter, is one of the services that the firm counts on to help offset retail revenue growth slowdown.

“As for profit, Amazon’s results are impressive,” said Neil Saunders, an analyst at research company GlobalData.

However, Mr. Saunders said that sales growth appears to have slowed as Amazon matured, which raises questions about its future path.

“Amazon will now have to work doubly hard to achieve further sales growth,” he said.

"Relentless attack"

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who is also the richest man in the world, singled out his intelligent speaker Alex, saying that this was the company's best-selling device.

“Echo Dot was the best-selling product among all Amazon products worldwide, and customers purchased millions of devices in the Echo family compared to last year,” he said.

Nicholas Hyatt, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the numbers show "Amazon's relentless attack on High Street over Christmas."

He said that the online retailer “tightens control” with its customers through additional services such as Amazon Prime, which offer free shipping and other benefits.

“With so many opportunities, the main challenge facing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is where to focus,” he added.

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