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Managing director Amazon UK Steve Frazier
"No jobs are being cut in Europe"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 31 January, 2001, 12:38 GMT
Amazon cuts 15% of its workforce

The online retailing giant Amazon has announced that it will cut 1,300 jobs or 15% of its workforce, as the firm tries to please investors and inch closer to profitability.

And for the first time in its history, the company managed to set a target for reaching "pro forma operating profitability", in the fourth quarter of 2001.

The question of our survival has finally been put to rest

Steve Frazier, Amazon UK
This, however, will not be true profitability yet, as the figure will exclude potential losses on investments, the price of employee stock options and other costs.

But Steve Frazier, the managing director of Amazon's UK subsidiary, told BBC News Online that with these results "the question of our survival has finally been put to rest".

The job losses will be confined to the United States, with some cuts at corporate headquarters and the closure of one distribution centre in Georgia and a customer service centre in downtown Seattle.

During the five years of its existence, Amazon has grown from being an online bookseller to a retailer of music, software, electrical goods, kitchens, gardening products and other hardware.

Beating Wall Street

Amazon's results for the period October to December 2000, meanwhile, were slightly better than Wall Street analysts had expected.

Steve Frazier
Steve Frazier says obs are safe in Europe
The company boosted sales by 44% to $972m (664.8m), slightly above the firm's own forecast.

The online retailer, however, did still turn in a loss of $90.4m, (61.8m) or 25 cents a share. This compares with a loss of $184.9m or 55 cents a share one year earlier.

If one-off costs are included, the losses rise to $545m.

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