Amazon's 'best ever' Christmas pays off

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TeamPlayer

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Online retailer Amazon proved it had its "best ever†Christmas period by delivering a 9pc rise in profit in the final quarter of 2008 on the back of an 18pc jump in sales.

The retailer, which began its life as an online bookstore before moving to sell everything from DVDs to diamonds, bucked the malaise on the high street by producing better-than-expected results for the three months to December.

Amazon benefited from shoppers looking for greater discounts online, as well as from the growing number of customers who prefer to avoid the festive crush on the world's high streets by opting to buy at home over the internet.

Sales for the quarter stood at $6.7bn, and would have topped $7bn had it not been for £320m of unfavourable currency costs due to the strength of the dollar. Post-tax profit rose 9pc to $225m, delivering earnings per share of 52 cents, considerably higher than analysts' consensus expectations of 38 cents a share.

Founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos, who predicted the retailer would have its best ever Christmas back in December, said the company's focus on low prices, wide choice and free delivery on certain items continued to help it outwit rivals.

"It looks like they took a lot of market share and made substantial gains," said analyst Jeffrey Lindsay of Sanford C. Bernstein. "The good thing is that Amazon hasn't had to discount to the extent that people feared to achieve this."

Shares in Amazon rose 12.7pc in extended trading after the bell in New York, up $6.34 at $56.34. In the US, sales were up 18pc in the fourth quarter, while in its international division, which includes the UK, sales rose by 31pc if discounting foreign exchange rates.

Amazon UK's bestseller in the Christmas quarter was the Mamma Mia DVD – which was also its best-selling product for the year as a whole - followed by the Batman movie The Dark Knight, followed by J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter spin-off The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

telegraph.co.uk
 

TeamPlayer

Yellow Belt
Yes it was a pretty good period for Associates, certainly no complaints from me. January has tailed off though, which is to be expected of course.
 

vicdigi

White Belt
Amazon wrapped that one up really well.

They employed tons of extra staff and got all products out the door quick time to their customers thus providing an excellent service and cheap bargain products.

Many people I know purchased at Amazon over Xmas and were well happy with them.

It goes to show who can act and stay on top when times are bad.

This will put them on good stead for future business.
 
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