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Amazon posts a 56 percent increase in profits as ebook sales soar

Quarterly revenue hits $21.27bn
Wed Jan 30 2013, 11:17
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ONLINE RETAILER Amazon has reported a 22 percent increase in revenues for its most recent financial quarter but saw the gloss taken off its results by posting a net loss the full year.

Amazon said that it saw some $21.27bn in sales in the quarter, up from $17.43bn during the same period in 2011. Operating income in the quarter was up 56 per cent, coming in at $405m.

Over the full year, Amazon saw its sales hit $61.09bn, up some 28 per cent over 2011 revenues.

Despite the jump in sales, Amazon had to admit to a 22 per cent decrease in operating income, a hit the company attributed to losses from financial exchange rates. Amazon reported a $39m net loss for the year.

"We're now seeing the transition we've been expecting," said Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos.

"After five years, eBooks is a multi-billion dollar category for us and growing fast - up approximately 70 per cent last year. In contrast, our physical book sales experienced the lowest December growth rate in our 17 years as a book seller, up just five per cent."

The company said that its Kindle product line was by far its best seller. The Kindle Fire HD was its best-selling product, followed by the Kindle Fire, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle tablets.

Though retail is still Amazon's top business, the company worked to build out its Amazon Web Services (AWS) operation in 2012. The enterprise cloud computing service held its first user conference last year.

The AWS operation also expanded its service line to include a data warehousing offering and a high memory database platform. µ


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