Amazon has had yet another stellar quarter for its market leading cloud business Amazon Web Services, which saw sales increase by 58 percent year-on-year to reach $2.9 billion.

The tech company saw profits and revenue rise across all of its businesses, but AWS accounted for more than half of operating income and was the retail giant’s most profitable unit.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos – Creative Commons/Steve Jurvetson

Up, up and up

Amazon brought in a total net income of $857 million, an 800 percent increase from the same quarter in 2015, where Amazon made $92 million in profits.

The income was well above analysts’ expectations of $540 million, making it the third consecutive quarter to set record-breaking profits for a company that historically has performed poorly as it prioritized growth over immediate returns.

“We are continuing to invest in a lot of fronts,” Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said. “We are investing in many elements of the Prime flywheel, investing in Amazon Web Services, investing in India, and investing in the Echo and Alexa platform.”

Retail sales for the company rose by 29 per cent during the quarter, with markets outside of North America seeing the fastest growth. Revenue grew 31 percent to $30.4 billion, also beating analysts’ expectations.

Amazon shares, which were already at record highs after Amazon’s ‘Prime Day’ sale earlier this month, rose an extra 2 percent in after-market trading.

The world’s third richest man

With the share price hitting $768, CEO Jeff Bezos has become the world’s third richest person, according to Forbes. Bezos owns nearly 18 percent of the company he founded, which has seen a 5,800 percent rise in value since its 1998 IPO.

Now thought to be worth $65.3 billion, Bezos has several other business ventures that he is involved with, although none rival Amazon for size.

In 2000, he founded Blue Origin, a human spaceflight startup that has successfully launched its own rockets into space, as well as landing a rocket that reached an altitude of 100 km. The company plans for the first manned test flights to take place in 2017, and earlier this year revealed that it had collaborated with Boeing on the DARPA XS-1 experimental spaceplane.

Amazon logo
– Amazon

In 2013, Bezos bought The Washington Post for $250 million, tripling the engineering team and focusing on using big data analytics to drive growth - so far, the initiative has proved a success, with WaPo now having the largest digital audience among American newspapers.

His investment arm Bezos Expeditions has stakes in numerous companies, including Business Insider, quantum computing company D-Wave, Uber, Twitter and public cloud provider Skytap. Bezos was also one of the first investors in Google, giving the company $250,000 in 1998.

Bezos, who is set to cameo in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond film, joined the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board earlier this month.