Oct. 30 (UPI) — Retailer Amazon expects that it will pay $4 billion in COVID-19-related costs over the last three months of 2020.
In its third-quarter earnings report, the company projected its operating income between $1 billion to $4.5 billion in the fourth quarter. The figure was $3.9 billion last year.
Part of the wide projection is $4 billion for coronavirus-related measures like testing, cleaning and other safety protocols.
Amazon said net sales increased 37% in the third quarter, to $96.1 billion and net income rose to $6.3 billion.
Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said the company has hired 100,000 workers this month, strengthened its transportation network and opened new distribution facilities to address the pandemic.
“There’s a whole host of conditions that generally come to bear in the fourth quarter,” Olsavsky said in a statement. “I think the fact that COVID is dwarfing all of those is causing a lot of uncertainty.”
“Offering jobs with industry-leading pay and great healthcare, including to entry-level and front-line employees, is even more meaningful in a time like this, and we’re proud to have created over 400,000 jobs this year alone,” CEO Jeff Bezos added.
Business has dramatically increased for Amazon since the start of the pandemic and more shoppers have bought essentials, like face masks and household items, online.