January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Loss In The Amazon

Amazon.com Inc. has reported a net loss of more than $317 million for second-quarter 2000. This loss compares to a loss of about $138 million for the same period last year. Net sales were $578 million, an increase of 84% over net sales of $314 million for second-quarter 1999.

Cumulative customer accounts increased by 2.5 million during the quarter to more than 22.5 million, says the Seattle-based online retail giant. That figure has now passed 23 million, it adds. Repeat customer orders represented 78% of orders in the quarter, up from 70% the previous year. Sales per customer who purchased during the 12 months ended June 30, 2000, was $125, up from $108 for the same period a year ago.

The Amazon Electronics store, launched in July 1999, became the retailer's fastest-growing store, it says, and Amazon.com's U.S. books, music and DVD/video segment pro forma operating profit was $10 million.

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