Kindle sales outstrip paperbacks as Amazon has first $10bn quarter

Kindle sales outstrip paperbacks as Amazon has first $10bn quarter

Kindle e-books have overtaken paperback sales at Amazon.com, as the internet retailer revealed sales topped $10bn for the first time in its latest trading quarter.

In its results for the quarter to 31st December 2010, the retailer revealed since the beginning of the year, for every 100 paperback books Amazon has sold, the company has sold 115 Kindle books. This includes sales of books where there is no Kindle edition. It previously revealed in July that Kindle books began out-selling hardbacks. An Amazon.co.uk spokesman said the Kindle was the bestselling product of both the fourth quarter and full year on its .co.uk website.

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com described the results as achieving “two big milestones”. “We had our first $10 billion quarter, and after selling millions of third-generation Kindles with the new Pearl e-ink display during the quarter, Kindle books have now overtaken paperback books as the most popular format on Amazon.com.

“Last July we announced that Kindle books had passed hardcovers and predicted that Kindle would surpass paperbacks in the second quarter of this year, so this milestone has come even sooner than we expected - and it's on top of continued growth in paperback sales," he said.

During the fourth quarter, the company's net sales have increased by 36% to $12.95bn year-on-year. Excluding the $139 million unfavourable impact from year-on-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales would have grown by 37% compare with the fourth quarter 2009, the retailer said. Net income increased 8% to $416m in its fourth quarter, up from $384m in 2009.

Across the full year, net sales were up 40% to $34.20bn. Net income also increased 28% to $1.15bn in 2010. Amazon did not strip out its UK sales performance but said in its international segment, which includes the UK as well as Germany, Japan, France, China and Italy, sales were up 26% to $5.74bn.