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San Francisco: Amazon reported Thursday that its profit in the recently-ended quarter rocketed to $2.9 billion in a ten-fold increase from the same period last year.

Net sales at the e-commerce colossus climbed to $56.6 billion (Dh207.9 billion) in the third quarter, a 29 per cent increase from the $43.7 billion in sales reported in the third quarter in 2017.

However, analysts had expected an even stronger performance by Amazon, prompting shares to sink 6.1 per cent to $1,673 in after-market trades that followed release of the earnings figures.

The Seattle-based company touted the growing popularity of Amazon Business, a service tailored as a source of all kinds of equipment and supplies for companies.

“Amazon Business has now reached a $10 billion annual sales run rate and is serving millions of private and public-sector organizations in eight countries,” Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos said in a statement released with the earnings.

“And we’re not slowing down — Amazon Business is adding customers rapidly, including large educational institutions, local governments and more than half of the Fortune 100.”

Meanwhile, operating income from the Amazon Web Service cloud platform climbed to $2.1 billion, nearly double that in the same quarter last year.

Amazon — which offers online shoppers a combination of ease, speedy delivery and choice that few can match — has faced criticism of its labour practices, including gruelling working conditions and lack of job security.

It recently announced that effective November 1 its starting wage for US workers will be $15 an hour, amid long-standing criticism of low pay, and that it would advocate for a higher minimum wage nationwide.

The raise will apply to 250,000 employees and to the more than 100,000 seasonal workers the company expects to hire for the holiday shopping season, it said.

Bezos said the company — valued at nearly $1 trillion — was heeding complaints about its pay structure.