E-books among Amazon.co.uk's top sellers as its parent's profits tumble

E-books among Amazon.co.uk's top sellers as its parent's profits tumble

Amazon.com has reported a steep drop in profit despite boosting sales by over a third. Amazon.co.uk also revealed that one print book and four e-books were among its top 10 bestselling items in the quarter, with the Kindle still its top-selling product.

The group reported earnings of $201m in the first quarter of this year to 31st March 2011, down from $299m for the same period a year ago. However, the online bookseller’s first quarter revenue soared by 38% to $9.86bn in comparison to the same period the year before. The company attributed its cut in earnings to needing more warehouses and upgraded technology due to strong sales growth.

The profits were below analysts' expectations and shares fell 6% in afterhours trading, only to recover later to stand nearly 2% lower. Media sales grew 18% in the US to $1.89bn, and international media sales grew 13% to $2.07bn. International segment sales, representing the company's UK, German, Japanese, French, Chinese and Italian sites, were $4.39bn, up 31% from first quarter 2010. Excluding the favourable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, sales grew 27%.

Amazon.co.uk also revealed that five books featured in its top 10 bestsellers, but only one was physical and the other four were e-books. Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver was Amazon.co.uk’s third highest selling product for quarter one, with e-books The Hanging Shed by Gordon Ferris, The Basement by Stephen Leather, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and Leather's Hard Landing holding the fourth, fifth, ninth and tenth spots in the bestsellers table.

Amazon.co.uk’s number one bestselling product of quarter one was its Kindle 3G, with Adele’s album "21" in the second highest-selling spot. Jeff Bezos, founder and c.e.o of Amazon.com highlighted the new Kindle with Special Offers [ads], Kindle Library Lending, Audible audiobooks on Kindle and a Kindle store in Germany among the company’s highlights in the last 90 days.

He hinted the company would continue its expansion and investment in new services. "We love inventing on behalf of customers and have never been more excited about the long-term opportunities," Bezos said.