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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 July, 2004, 22:14 GMT 23:14 UK
International sales boost eBay
eBay operates auction sites in 17 countries
Strong growth in international sales helped online auction firm eBay double its second quarter profits.

eBay, which recently acquired a leading shopping site in India, recorded a 51% increase in earnings to $190.4m(103m) in the first three months of the year.

The Californian company, which has operations in more than 17 countries, said its international sales had risen 76% to $273.7m(148m) over the period.

The company said it expected full year sales to total $3.1bn(1.6bn).

eBay gained a foothold in India last month when it bought local online auctioneer Baazee.com for $50m (27m).

The company is pinning much of its future growth on developing markets such as India and China. In 2003, it paid 88m to take control of Chinese operator EachNet.

Long term

Rajiv Dutta, eBay's chief financial officer, told Associated Press that although India had low per capita income and low rates of internet usage, its growth potential justified eBay's presence there.

He said: "Our management philosophy is to build for the long term. What is a small portion of the business today may well be a very large percentage in the future."

Mark Mahaney, an analyst with investment firm American Technology Growth, said he did not expect eBay's investments in China and India to make a material contribution to the business until 2005 at the earliest.

But he said: "We think India is more of a 2006 than a 2004 story for eBay but we think the company is doing the right thing to track down these growth opportunities."

Total revenues for the period rose 52% to $773m(419m) while US revenues grew 32% to $319m(173m).

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