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Online retailer Amazon saw its shares dip 2.5 per cent last night after posting disappointing results for the first quarter ended 31 March 2005.

Despite upping sales by 24 per cent to $1.9bn Amazon's profits took a dip. Amazon benefitted from foreign exchange movements but with this stripped out it still increased sales by 22 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2004. Sales of electronics and general goods made up a quarter of total sales.

But net income fell to $78m in the first quarter compared to $111m in the same period last year. The net income figure includes a $56m income tax payment.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and CEO, said the company was seeing heavy use of its Amazon Prime service which gives members unlimited two day delivery on eligible items for $79 a year.

International sales from China, France, Germany, Japan and the UK were up 28 per cent to $875m.

Looking forward Amazon predicts full year revenues in the range $8.175bn and $8.675bn, up 18 to 25 per cent compared with 2004. Amazon has pre-orders for 700,000 copies of the sixth Harry Potter book which is released in July.

More details available on amazon.com here.®

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