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Amazon bigs up March quarter

Big sales, reasonable profits

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Amazon pulled a lot rabbits out of the hat in Q1, with sales creeping past $3bn and net income coming in at $111m - 115 per cent up year-on-year.

North America sales were $1.62bn - 30 per cent higher than last year - while the rest of the world climbed 35 per cent to $1.39bn. The tanking dollar accounted for eight per cent of overseas growth.

Amazon may be the world's biggest book's retailer, but today's results show that it is becoming an increasingly powerful force in consumer electronics. The online retailer's "electronics and other general merchandise" category grew 48 per cent to $947m in the March quarter, accounting for 31 per cent of overall sales against 28 per cent in Q1, 2006.

In the company's earnings statement, company founder Jeff Bezos took Amazon Prime, the company's membership club out for a spin. "We're pleased ... especially with the number of people joining Amazon Prime," he said. "Prime continues to grow as a percentage of overall units shipped, and we're very grateful to our Amazon Prime members." Which is nice.

So how many people have shelled out the $79 annual fee for getting free express shipping. Amazon's not saying, so we guess that this revenue stream is still in growth mode. ®

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