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Amazon forecasts smaller losses for Q1

Thanks to electronics sales

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Amazon.com today said it expected to post a narrower than expected loss for the first quarter.

In preliminary figures, the e-tailer said sales were forecast to top $695 million for the three months ending March 31 2001, up from $574 million the previous year and around $25 million higher than analyst predictions. Amazon said growth was largely due to sales of electronics.

Net losses are expected to fall below $225 million, down from $308 million. Excluding the previously announced restructuring charge, Amazon said losses would be less than $150 million. The pro forma operating loss is expected to be less than $50 million.

The pro forma net loss is tipped to be 22 cents per share or less - an improvement on the previous year's loss of 35 cents per share and also on predictions for this quarter - analysts were expecting a loss of around 30 cents.

The company also reiterated its guidance for 2001.

"For the fifth consecutive quarter we saw substantial improvement in our operations and bottom-line performance," said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. "Electronics demonstrated especially strong growth and improvements."

In January Amazon announced it would lay off 1,300 workers, around 15 per cent of staff, as part of a cost-cutting exercise.

Amazon will formerly report the first quarter results on April 24. ®

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