Amazon profits soar 71%

Amazon saw Q4 profits rise by 71%, with the etailer saying it has sold millions of its Kindle e-reader.

The online giant recorded a net profit of $384m (£238m) for the last three months of 2009, up from $225m (£139.5m) during the same quarter a year ago. Revenue rose by 42% to $9.52bn (£5.9bn).

Amazon didn’t say how many Kindles have been sold but CEO Jeff Bezos said “millions” of people now own the e-reader.

“Kindle owners read, a lot. When we have both editions, we sell six Kindle books for every ten physical books. This is year to date and includes only paid books – free Kindle books would make the number even higher,” he said.

The positive results followed news of Amazon’s large-screen 9.7in e-reader becoming available outside the US this month ( 7 January 2010).

From 19 January the Kindle DX became available to ship to more than 100 countries, including the UK. Costing $489 (£300), the e-reader allows users to download e-books on the go and store up to 3,500 books. It was launched in the US last May.

Bezos’ revelations about Kindle’s sales come in the week Apple launched its long-awaited iPad tablet device, which also features a 9.7in display and will offer access to content from publishers such as Penguin, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and the Hachette book group.

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