Amazon has posted record sales figures for its third quarter, with profits tripling amid the global pandemic.

Net sales increased by 37% to $96.1bn (£74.4bn) in the third quarter to September 30, compared with $70bn (£54.2bn) in the same period last year.

Amazon’s net profit tripled from $2.1bn (£1.6bn) in the third quarter of 2019 to $6.3bn (£4.9bn) this year, while its operating profit almost doubled from $3.2bn (£2.5bn) to $6.2bn (£4.8bn) year on year.

The global marketplace has seen unprecedented demand throughout the pandemic, leading to the creation of more than 400,000 new jobs across the world, including 10,000 permanent roles in the UK.

Amazon has also committed to helping small and medium businesses struggling during the pandemic, announcing plans to onboard 100,000 more in the next year.

SMEs were the focus of its Prime Day Sale, where customers received a £10 discount on Sale items if they spent £10 on a small business in the weeks leading up to the event.

During the Prime Day Sale, which was delayed from its normal July date to October 13-14 this year, sales for Amazon’s third-party sellers surpassed $3.5bn (£2.7bn) – a 60% rise year on year.

Chief executive and founder Jeff Bezos said: “Two years ago, we increased Amazon’s minimum wage to $15 for all full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees across the US and challenged other large employers to do the same. 

“Best Buy and Target have stepped up, and we hope other large employers will also make the jump to $15. Now would be a great time.

“Offering jobs with industry-leading pay and great healthcare, including to entry-level and frontline employees, is even more meaningful in a time like this, and we’re proud to have created over 400,000 jobs this year alone.

“We’re seeing more customers than ever shopping early for their holiday gifts, which is just one of the signs that this is going to be an unprecedented holiday season. 

“Big thank you to our employees and selling partners around the world who’ve been busy getting ready to deliver for customers this holiday.”