Amazon has doubled its income in its second quarter despite ploughing $4bn into Covid-19-related costs.

The online retail giant posted net income of $5.6bn (£4.3bn) in the quarter to June 30, up from $2.6bn the previous year.

Net sales climbed 40% to $88.9bn (£67.7bn) during the period driven by third-party sellers and Amazon online grocery sales, which tripled year on year.

The online titan, which launched free grocery delivery for Prime customers in the UK this week, increased its grocery delivery capacity 160% during the quarter and tripled its number of grocery pick up locations.

Amazon spent a further $9bn (£6.9bn) on business costs outside of coronavirus during the quarter, including initiatives across fulfilment, transportation and Amazon Web Services.

Amazon forecasts that it will spend a further $2bn (£1.5bn) on coronavirus-related costs in its third quarter and that its sales will grow between 24% and 33% year on year.

Chief executive Jeff Bezos said: “This was another highly unusual quarter and I couldn’t be more proud of and grateful to our employees around the globe.

“As expected, we spent over $4bn on incremental Covid-19-related costs in the quarter to help keep employees safe and deliver products to customers in this time of high demand — purchasing personal protective equipment, increasing cleaning of our facilities, following new safety process paths, adding new back-up family care benefits and paying a special ‘thank you’ bonus of over $500m to frontline employees and delivery partners. We’ve created over 175,000 new jobs since March and are in the process of bringing 125,000 of these employees into regular, full-time positions.”