"Strong" second quarter at Amazon.co.uk

<p>Internet retailer Amazon.co.uk had a &quot;strong&quot; second quarter, its head of books buying Kes Nielsen has told <em>The Bookseller</em>.</p><p>International sales, which represents Amazon&#39;s UK, German, Japanese, French and Chinese sites, were $1.9bn, up 47% from second quarter 2007, pushing up their share of the overall Amazon.com business from 45% to 47%. </p><p>Operating profit at the international businesses also grew, rising from $83m to $149m. Amazon does not break out its sales further, but Nielsen said the UK part of the business had a &quot;good quarter&quot; for the 13 weeks ending 30th June. &quot;We have seen some solid activity this summer that we are pleased with and we have driven a lot of traffic to the website,&quot; he said.</p><p>Nielsen said that the UK business had partly been driven by an increase in the number of different titles customers bought. &quot;There has been a big step change,&quot; he said. &quot;The sheer breadth of titles people are buying in the marketplace has blown out in a big way [across the entire market]. We are convinced we have been a strong player in that. There has also been an increase in terms of the number of titles in stock and available for immediate dispatch.&quot;</p><p>He said that more customers were taking advantage of the retailer&#39;s Prime offer, although refused to discuss sign-ups. Prime offers customers unlimited free one-day delivery for an annual fee of &pound;49. &quot;Individual paperback purchases have become a pretty compelling purchase as a consequence,&quot; he said.</p><p>He also pointed to initiatives such as its &lsquo;Authors in the Spotlight&#39; campaign with HarperCollins as a driver of sales. However, he refused to discuss whether its ongoing dispute with Hachette Livre UK over terms had hit sales. The retailer has removed buy buttons on some key titles as part of the dispute.</p><p>Amazon.com&#39;s trading statement revealed sales across the whole business rose 41% to $4.1bn in the second quarter, compared with $2.9bn for the same period last year. Operating income increased 86% from $116m to $217m.</p>