Amazon reports 68% profit rise
ONLINE retail titan Amazon has reported a 68% leap in worldwide profits for the first quarter of the year after double-digit sales growth in the US and at its international arm.
The release of the latest Twilight Saga blockbuster movie on DVD led the best seller list in the UK, contributing to a 45% hike in sales across Amazon’s international arm - up 37% with currency effects stripped out.
Amazon notched up net income of 299 million US dollars (£195 million) across the group, up from 177 million dollars (£115 million) a year earlier.
The UK saw strong demand for The Twilight Saga: New Moon DVD featuring Hollywood heartthrob Robert Pattinson, but other top sellers also included author Stieg Larsson's trilogy of novels, including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker.
Amazon’s global net sales grew 46% to 7.13 billion dollars (£4.7 billion), led by a 47% leap in the US and Canada.
Its first quarter earnings were better than most analysts were expecting, but the firm’s outlook for the second quarter suggested sales growth would slow.
For the current quarter, Amazon expects revenues of between 6.1 billion to 6.7 billion dollars (£4 billion to £4.4 billion), which would be an increase of up to 41% year-on-year.
Revenue from books, CDs, DVDs and other media grew 26%, while electronics and other "general merchandise" revenue increased 72%.
Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon, said the group remains "heads-down focused on customers".
Electronic book reader Kindle remains its worldwide top selling product, with the Kindle selection now at 500,000 titles.
But a major competitor to Amazon’s Kindle e-reader has launched since the end of the first quarter - Apple’s iPad tablet device, which can also wirelessly download books.