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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 00:13 GMT 01:13 UK
Good start to the year for Amazon
Amazon.com webpage
Amazon is forecasting a big jump in profits this year
Online retailer Amazon enjoyed a strong start to 2007, with sales rising 32% in the first three months of the year.

Pre-tax profits also rose sharply, up to $144m (72m) from $96m in the corresponding period a year ago.

Amazon said it had seen strong demand in all major regions, with sales in the US and Canada up 30% and returns from Asia and Europe ahead by 35%.

But the retailer said it expected sales and profit growth to slow in the second quarter of the year.

'Pleased'

Nevertheless, Amazon is still forecasting operating profits for the whole of 2007 to be at least 19% higher than last year.

"We are pleased with our overall strong growth," chief executive Jeff Bezos said.

He hailed the success of Amazon Prime, an online membership scheme which allows subscribers two days free shipping for a one-off annual fee of $79.

"Prime continues to grow as percentage of overall units shipped," Mr Bezos added.

International sales accounted for 46% of total sales during the period, dominated by the UK, France, Germany, Japan and China.

Amazon's performance in 2006 was affected by heavy investment in technology and improvements to its range of toy products.

The company's results were published after markets closed in the US.

But its shares rose 10% in post-market electronic trading.


SEE ALSO
Investment dents Amazon profits
01 Feb 07 |  Business
Falling profit margins hit Amazon
25 Oct 06 |  Business

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