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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 July, 2003, 21:40 GMT 22:40 UK
Amazon buoyed by Harry Potter
Amazon already allows shoppers to try before they buy
Internet retail giant has reported an increase in sales of 37% totalling $1.1bn in the last quarter, compared with the same period last year.

Its losses have narrowed to $43.3m from $93.5m a year ago, the company said.

Revenues have been buoyed by free shipping offers, and sales of the latest Harry Potter book - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J K Rowling.

"Harry Potter had a great effect. By offering great value, we were able to attract... new customers to Amazon," Robin Terrell, managing director of told BBC News Online.

Amazon sold 420,000 pre-ordered copies of the book and a total of 1.4 million copies worldwide.

The online retailer said it was raising its revenue targets and expanding its free shipping promotions.

"We're expecting a 25% growth year on year," added Mr Terrell.

Sales overseas are growing faster than at home, company representatives said, with US sales up 20% from a year earlier while international sales were 81% higher.

Excluding special charges, the company reported an operating profit of $42m or 10 cents a share, well ahead of the six cents per share forecast by analysts polled by First Call.

Amazon aims to continue to expand, in part by moving beyond its current product offering.

"It's really a matter of time before we get into selling all sorts of products that we don't sell today," Mr Terrell told BBC World Business Report.

Amazon UK's Robin Terrell
"We'll get into selling all sorts of products that we don't sell today"

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