Robust sales during the holiday period pumped e-commerce giant Amazon’s fourth-quarter revenue up 22pc to US$21.17bn from US$17.43bn a year earlier. However, profit for the three-month period ended 31 December 2012 dropped 45pc, to US$97m, or US$0.21 a share, compared to US$177m, or $0.38, in the year-ago period.
The company’s operating income amounted to US$405m for the quarter, reflecting an increase of 56pc from the year-ago total of US$260m.
For full-year 2012, Amazon.com’s net sales increased 27pc to US$61.09bn, compared with US$48.08bn in 2011.
Operating income decreased 22pc to US$676m, compared with US$862m for full-year 2011.
Net loss totalled US$39m, or US$0.09 per diluted share, compared with net income of US$631m, or US$1.37 per diluted share, in 2011.
“We’re now seeing the transition we’ve been expecting,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com.
“After five years, e-books is a multi-billion-dollar category for us and growing fast – up approximately 70pc last year. In contrast, our physical book sales experienced the lowest December growth rate in our 17 years as a bookseller, up just 5pc.
“We’re excited and very grateful to our customers for their response to Kindle and our ever expanding ecosystem and selection,” Bezos added.
Amazon’s Kindle tablet computer was the most popular item for customers, the company said, especially the Kindle Fire HD.
“Kindle Fire HD continued its run as the No 1 best-selling, most-gifted, and most-wished for product across the millions of items available on Amazon worldwide. At year-end, Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle held the top four spots on the Amazon worldwide best-seller charts since launch,” Amazon said in a statement.