With boosts from sales of electronics and other general merchandise and global markets, net sales at Amazon.com Inc. rose 31% to $4.26 billion for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, up from $3.26 billion a year ago, as net income rose 48% to $118 million from $80 million, Amazon said Wednesday. Q3 sales included $80 million from a favorable impact in year-to-year changes in foreign exchange rates. Without that impact, net sales would have risen 22% from a year ago, Amazon said. The retailer also lowered its full-year growth projection to a range of 24-31% from 30-35%.
CEO Jeff Bezos attributed the Q3 growth to Amazon’s focus on offering a broader selection of products at competitive prices and special offers like free shipping. “We remain relentlessly focused on delivering value to customers through lower prices, improved selection and our free shipping offers,” he says. “Customers saved more than $700 million with our global free-shipping programs over the past 12 months, and we expect more customers than ever to take advantage of the benefits of Amazon Prime this holiday season.” The Amazon Prime program offers shoppers free two-day shipping on all orders for an annual fee of $79.
For the nine months ended Sept. 30, Amazon reported net sales of $12.46 billion, up 36% from $9.16 billion in the year-ago period, as net income rose 56% to $420 million from $269 million.
The web-only retailer reported a 15% year-over-year rise in Q3 North American sales of books, CDs and other media products, to $1.25 billion from $1.08 billion, and a 50.1% increase in electronics and other general merchandise sales to $950 million from $631 million.
International Q3 sales of media products outside of North America rose 24% year-over-year to $1.25 billion from $1.01 billion, and Q3 sales while electronics and other general merchandise sales in those markets rose 54% to $690 million from $448 million.
Amazon said it expects total net sales in the fourth quarter to be between $6 billion and $7 billion, a rise of between 6% and 23% from Q4 of last year. For the full year, Amazon is projecting a growth range of 24% to 31%, or $18.46 billion to $19.46 billion, down from its initial projection of 30-35% growth to a range of $19.35 billion to $20.1 billion.
Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
Matt Williams, general manger of Amazon Webstore, spoke at the 2008 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition. His audio-visual presentation at IRCE 2008 is available on CD-ROM.