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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 July, 2003, 22:12 GMT 23:12 UK
EBay profits shoot higher
EBay offers millions of items for sale every day
Online auction site eBay has enjoyed a surge in profits, making more than $100m (61.9m) in just three months.

Ebay, which sells anything from stuffed animals to antique cocktail shakers, has become an internet phenomenon and is one of the few really profitable dot.com firms.

It sold goods worth $509.3m in the three months between April and June, a rise of 91% compared to its sales in the same period a year earlier.

The Californian-based firm also increased its forecasts for future profits, squashing fears that the introduction of VAT for European customers would dampen sales.

The company now expects revenues for 2003 to be as high as $2.08bn, $25 million higher than the company's most recent guidance.

The increase in profits easily offset a $10m fee paid to settle allegations that eBay's online payment system broke the law by providing services to online gambling merchants.

International boom

Earlier this year, eBay overtook Amazon to become the UK's top internet retailer.

The US market continues to show steady growth, while Germany and the UK enjoyed triple-digit growth.

Meg Whitman, the auctioneer's chief executive, said that word was still spreading that eBay was a good place to trade, build a business, make friends and have fun.

Ebay shares closed at a 52-week high of $115.7 on the Nasdaq ahead of the announcement.

But the firm's share price plunged in after-hours trade, as investors worried that the recent rally had pushed the stock too high.

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