Cost cuts and a record holiday season, which included a 9% fourth-quarter increase in online sales, turned a $2.7 billion loss in 2022 to a $30.4 billion profit last year at Amazon, the tech giant reported Thursday afternoon. Operating income jumped from $12.2 billion in 2022 to $36.9 billion last year, with the majority of that profit coming from its web services division, AWS, which had income of $24.6 billion. Total company sales increased 12%, to $574.8 billion.

Following 2022’s disappointing year, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said that reducing costs was his top priority, and the company undertook a number of initiatives to cut expenses, including implementing layoffs throughout the company. Amazon is believed to have eliminated some 27,000 jobs last year, and among the casualties were staff members from the now-shuttered Comixology, who were let go last January.

In addition to layoffs, Jassy attributed the financial improvement to the reorganization of Amazon’s U.S. fulfillment network along regional lines, a move Jassy said improved delivery times while also cutting costs. The reorg, the company reported, allowed the company to deliver 4 billion units to U.S. customers within one day of ordering last year.

Not everything went Amazon’s way in 2023, however. In September, the FTC filed its long-awaited antitrust lawsuit against the company. The suit, applauded by publishers and booksellers, is in its early stages, and it will likely take years before a resolution is reached.

Looking at 2024, Amazon predicted that net sales will increase between 8% and 13% compared with the first quarter of 2023. Operating income is expected to be between $8.0 billion and $12.0 billion, compared with $4.8 billion in first quarter 2023. The unexpectedly strong finish to 2023 and solid outlook for 2024 helped to drive up Amazon’s stock price, with its shares selling around $171 per share this morning, up roughly 7% from Thursday.

Amazon Develops AI Shopping Tool

Coinciding with the release of its financial results, Amazon announced the launch of Rufus, a new generative AI–powered “conversational” shopping experience. According to Amazon, Rufus is a shopping assistant “trained on [its] product catalog and information from across the web to answer customer questions on shopping needs, products, and comparisons, make recommendations based on this context, and facilitate product discovery.” Rufus is currently undergoing a beta test, and is expected to be rolled out to more customers in the coming months. It isn’t clear how Rufus can be used to discover new books.