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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 April, 2003, 21:53 GMT 22:53 UK
Amazon trims its losses

Amazon, the world's largest internet retailer, has narrowed its losses in the first quarter.

The web seller of music, books and merchandise reported a net loss of $10m (6.3m), down from a $23m net loss in the same period a year before.

The loss comes after the e-tailing giant reported its second ever quarterly net profit in January.

Over the first three months, sales at the Seattle-based company rose by 28% to $1.084bn, which was more than previously predicted by analysts.

"Our strategy of driving down costs to give customers lower prices continues to pay off," chief financial officer Tom Szkutak said in a statement.

Kitchen and home

Amazon said sales were boosted by strong international sales, special promotions, such as free shipping, as well as cost-cutting.

The web seller was upbeat about the rest of the year, saying sales would grow more than 19% in 2003, compared to its previous forecast of 15%.

Robin Terrel, managing director of, told BBC News Online he was pleased with the company's performance in what he called "a pretty tough market."

"Everyone knows it has been a tough year for retailers worldwide."

The international segment of Amazon, made up of the UK, Germany, Japan and France, saw its sales grow 68% to $379m.

Although he would not comment on the performance of the UK alone, Mr Terrell said that the international segment had been profitable "for quite some time".

He added that the UK operation would continue to expand its selection of products, having recently added a kitchen and home shop to its business.

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