After brilliant business results from Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and the Google parent company Alphabet, positive news was also expected from

But when the online retailer presented its figures on Thursday after the market closed, it caused a disappointment: sales growth slowed significantly in the most recent quarter and was lower than analysts expected.

In after-hours trading, the share price temporarily lost more than six percent of its value.

Roland Lindner

Business correspondent in New York.

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Amazon is considered one of the big winners of the corona crisis.

The core business of online trading benefited from the fact that more and more people were shopping on the Internet.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the segment for cloud computing that has become increasingly important in recent years, also grew rapidly.

The picture in the second quarter was very mixed: Group-wide sales rose by 27 percent to 113.1 billion dollars.

That was below the average of $ 115.2 billion predicted by analysts and represents a significant slowdown compared to the first quarter, when sales rose 44 percent.

This time, of course, Amazon also had to struggle with high standards.

The prior-year quarter was the first in which the pandemic made itself fully felt.

Online retail, of all things, is weak

The lower than expected sales growth is mainly due to online retailing. Here sales rose by only 13 percent this time, in the previous two quarters it was more than 40 percent in each case. The slowdown was all the more surprising because “Prime Day” fell in the last quarter when Amazon advertised particularly strongly with special offers. In the past, this Prime Day was always seen as a sales driver.

On the other hand, the cloud division AWS did once again very well. Here there was even the strongest growth in more than a year, sales increased by 37 percent. AWS is also particularly important to Amazon because the business is particularly profitable. It contributed more than half of the company's total operating profit last quarter, despite only accounting for 13 percent of sales. The online advertising division, which is also likely to have disproportionately high profit margins, has also grown strongly. The positive development of these profitable businesses helped net income, which rose 48 percent to $ 7.8 billion in the past quarter. The earnings per share were higher than expected.

As far as sales are concerned, Amazon is also cautious about the third quarter that has started.

The group predicts growth between 10 and 16 percent, i.e. a further significant slowdown.

The worse than expected results come only a few weeks after a turning point in the company: On July 5th, founder Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO.

His successor is Andy Jassy, ​​who previously ran AWS.