Figuring Out Amazon UK
Amazon’s UK website generated net sales of £2.91bn in 2011, according to figures handed over to the House of Commons’ public accounts committee by the retailer. The figure was 23.3% up on the previous year. In 2010, the site turned over £2.36bn, representing a 26.5% rise on the net sales of £1.86bn made in 2009. The newly-published figures also show how much VAT Amazon has paid on the sales. The figure was £41m for 2011, £262m in 2010, and £172m in 2009.
The figures came in the same week that Amazon.co.uk was confirmed once more as the UK’s most-visited online shop by the Experian / IMRG Hot Shops List, and also accounted for 40% of visits to UK department store websites.
Amazon.co.uk’s closely-guarded UK sales figures emerged as part of its submission shared “on a confidential basis” with the House of Commons’ public accounts committee, which has recently questioned companies including Google and Starbucks about their payment of UK corporate taxes. Our use of the figures is permitted under the Open Parliament Licence.
The submission, from Andrew Cecil , Amazon’s director, EU public policy, also details Amazon’s corporate structure in the EU. While most of its EU business is headquartered in Luxembourg, a UK company, Amazon.co.uk Ltd, operates its fulfilment and customer service centres, and earns a margin on its operating costs.
As Chloe Rigby, IR’s Web Editor commented on interetretailing.net at the time, “One thing we find fascinating about these figures is just how far ahead of the competition Amazon is. It appears to have the highest sales by a long way.
“When Argos released its full-year results in May it claimed the number two position in the UK online retail market. In the 53 weeks to 3 March it turned over £3.9bn and said that multichannel sales – those sales which include the internet – represented £1.9bn or 48% of its total sales in the 2011-2012 financial year. Amazon’s figures are a full £1bn ahead of that and enjoying growth at 23% was well beyond the market average of 16% growth in 2011, as measured by IMRG.