Amazon forecast net sales of between 106 billion and 112 billion US dollars for the third quarter of 2021. That would represent year-on-year growth of between 10% and 16% and is based on a favourable impact of approximately 70 basis points from foreign exchange rates.
That represents a marked slowdown from the 24% year-on-year growth (at constant currencies) that Amazon experienced in the second quarter. Brian Olsavsky, CFO of Amazon, explained that the slowdown will be driven by the dynamics of the pandemic. "By mid-May of last year, we [had] made good progress to open up more capacity by adding hundreds of thousands of employees," he said. "This allowed our revenue growth rate to jump to the 35% to 45% range and remained at that level through Q1 of this year when we had 41% growth. In Q2 of this year, we began to comp this high sales period from last year, and the year-over-year revenue growth rate has narrowed. It has also narrowed as vaccines become more readily available in many countries and people are getting out of their homes."
"Since May 15, again, excluding Prime Day, our year-over-year growth rate has dropped into the mid-teens. Our Q3 revenue guidance range of 10% to 16% growth reflects an expected continuation of this trend. Given all this volatility, it's useful to consider the two-year compounded annual growth rate, which remains strong in the 25% to 30% range. Recall this compares to our pre-pandemic growth rate of 21%."
Amazon now employs almost 1.34 million people, up 52% year-on-year. Source: Transcript of Amazon Q2 conference call