COVID-19 has dealt a serious blow to the global economy. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs and all industries have been hit is some way or another. However, despite the fact that scores of businesses have closed around the world, some have taken advantage of the fact that the virus is fueling the digital economy while acting as a catalyst to speed the adoption of new technology. These following three business have seen profits soar during the pandemic.
Amazon is winning
As COVID-19 started to wreak havoc at the beginning of 2020, internet retailer Amazon was preparing to baton down the hatches. The company planned to spend its Q2 operating profit, around $4 billion, on dealing with the virus, and while Amazon did this, it also doubled its year-on-year net profit, which came in at a cool $5.6 billion.
It’s easy to see why Amazon has been so successful during the pandemic and lockdowns – given the fact that it has a mature online marketplace that integrates shopping with delivery in the world’s largest economy. Other retailers that offer competitive prices and fast delivery have also seen a big bump in profits from online sales. WalMart’s online operations have exploded in popularity, and in the UK, Tesco has seen a similar jump in online sales for food and other retail items.
JA Solar Technology – China’s solar industry is booming
JA Solar Technology is the world’s largest producer of photovoltaic (PV) cells, and its H1 2020 profits are up by 78%.
The reasons for this rise in profits are nuanced. The overall demand for energy in China has fallen over the course of 2020, however, the amount of solar power in China has risen by 12% this year, and Beijing is planning to continue driving renewable energy.
JA Solar can be used to gauge the entire Chinese PV sector, which may be one of the only areas in energy that will show strong growth in the coming years.
AstraZeneca and big pharma
British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZenica is a leading contender to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. While the company has pledged not to profit from a potential vaccine, such an agreement is only going to be in force until the acute phase of the pandemic has passed.
AstraZenica and other important pharmaceutical companies haven’t seen their profits skyrocket like Amazon, for example, but they will likely capitalise on COVID-19, and any virus that hopefully doesn’t follow.