5 Things we learned about Amazon’s cloud from its first earnings report

AWS collected $1.56 billion in revenue with a $265 million profit this quarter

For the first time in company history Amazon.com revealed the financial details of its Web Services cloud computing division in earnings reports released Thursday.

In doing so Amazon put to rest speculation about just how much money it is making in the cloud and proved to skeptics that there is big money to be had in this market.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: More numbers to prove just how big Amazon Web Services' cloud is +

Below are five key figures we learned from Amazon’s first ever earnings report that included details financial figures for AWS.

$1.5B for the quarter

Amazon Web Services collected $1.56 billion in revenue throughout the first quarter of 2015, with a profit of $265 million with a 17% margin. Revenue grew 49% between the first quarter of 2015 and the first quarter last year.

$5 billion for the year

In the calendar year 2014 AWS collected $4.64 billion in revenue. But in the past 12 months (meaning from the second quarter of 2014 until today) AWS has collected $5.16 billion in revenue. Jeff Bezos was quoted in the earnings report saying: “Amazon Web Services is a $5 billion business and still growing fast — in fact it’s accelerating.”

Profits rising

Profits for AWS have been steadily climbing for the past year. In the second quarter of 2014 income was $77 million; it was $98 million in Q3 and $240 million in Q4. Profit for the past 12 months has been $680 million.

It costs money to make money

AWS spent $1.3 billion to operate its Web Services division in the first quarter of this year, that’s up from $805 million it spent on operating expenses in the first quarter of 2014. AWS says that it adds enough computing capacity to its cloud everyday to power Amazon.com when it was a $7 billion business in 2004. Amazon says it has about $6.9 billion in assets in AWS.

Helping out the big business

Net sales for the Amazon.com parent company in the first quarter of this year were $22.7 billion, with a $57 million loss. AWS contributed 5% of Amazon.com total net sales in the fourth quarter last year, and 6% of net sales for the parent company in the first quarter of this year. Without that $265 million profit from AWS, Amazon.com’s losses could be even higher.

To see the full earnings release from Amazon.com, including the breakout of AWS, cluck here.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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