Global e-commerce portal Amazon.com has reported a second-quarter sales rise of 41pc to US$4.06bn, which was driven by rapid take-up of electronics and digital media products. Profits were up a staggering 102pc.
The internet portal, whose once sole domain was books, expanded into a vast array of other media and products from DVDs to magazines and lately digital downloads, and saw a 58pc increase in demand for electronic goods and a 31pc increase in demand for media.
Operating income rose 86pc to US$217m, which included a US$53m gain on the sale of Amazon.com’s European DVD rental assets.
The company reported an overall 102pc increase in profits of US$158m.
Worldwide electronic gadget sales were up 58pc to US$1.5bn, while media sales rose 31pc to US$2.41bn.
“Customers continue to take advantage of our low prices, free shipping and Amazon Prime,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com.
“Amazon Prime membership costs less than a tank of gas – more and more customers are joining the programme and enjoying its benefits.”
The company said that during the quarter some 400,000 software developers registered to use Amazon Web Services.
Also, the company delved into the video on demand market with a new service that allows customers to rent or buy ad-free movies and TV shows via their web browsers or PCs and through Sony Bravia TV sets with video links.
The company also grew the number of electronic book titles for its innovative Kindle reading device to 140,000 titles.
Looking ahead to the third quarter, the company is predicting sales of between US$4.2bn and US$4.4bn and an operating income of between US$115m and US$160m, a decline of between 6pc and 31pc taking into account a stock-based compensation scheme of US$80m that has to be dealt with.
By John Kennedy
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