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Amazon's NZ team rapidly expanding as staff numbers increase two-fold in a year

Amazon's New Zealand company is rapidly expanding following an 85 per cent increase in sales.

An Amazon.com Fulfillment Centre in Las Vegas. Source: istock.com

Amazon Web Service (AWS) New Zealand, which officially opened is new central Auckland offices today, has seen a two-fold increase in staff numbers in the last 12 months, with the cloud-based product provider now employing 100 people in New Zealand.

The company is entirely owned by A100 Row, Inc, a company affiliated to Amazon in the USA.

Its recently released financial statements show sales increased from $19.4m in the year ended December 31, 2019, to $35.9m in 2020.

AWS New Zealand managing director Nick Walton told 1 NEWS that growth was down to the products they offered.

"AWS really levels the playing field and makes this cutting-edge technology available to Kiwis."

But despite record sales, the company reported a $2.6m loss in 2020.

It was a similar trend to other Amazon companies overseas - Amazon EU Sarl, which sells products across Europe and the UK reported record sales of 44 billion euros in 2020, but also a 1.2b euro loss - and therefore paid no tax.

Lawmakers across the world have repeatedly accused the global giant of tax avoidance - British MP Margaret Hodge has repeatedly accused it if deliberately creating financial structures to avoid paying tax.

In New Zealand, companies pay tax on their profit - but if the company makes a loss during a financial year, it does not need to pay any income tax.

When asked by 1 NEWS what caused the company to make a loss in 2020 despite an 85 per cent increase in revenue, Walton put it down to "investing and growing the team".

"We pay our taxes in all the countries we operate in around the world, and what we are seeing in New Zealand is this ability to expand," he said.

"I look at the contributions we are making to the economy, helping hire new jobs New Zealand companies really benefit and innovate in ways that really haven't been possible in the past."