Strong sales of Amazon’s Kindle e-reader have helped the online retailer to its first $10 billion quarter, according to a trading statement published today.
Amazon.com saw net sales grow from $9.52 billion (£6 billion) to $12.95 billion (£8.15 billion) year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2010, and for the first time Kindle books sales were more popular than paperbacks at the company.
Figures show that for every 100 paperbacks the business has sold, it has offloaded 115 Kindle books.
A landmark that sums up the shift in consumer requirements was announced in December, when Amazon said its third-generation Kindle had ousted the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book as its bestselling product of all time.
Today’s figures indicate that Amazon.com’s operating cash flow grew by six per cent to $3.5 billion for the 12-month period, although Q4 operating income was slightly down year-on-year to $474 million due to the unfavorable impact from changes in foreign exchange rates.
Net sales for the full-year increased by 40 per cent compared to 2009, rising from $24.51 billion to $34.2 billion.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, remarked: “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.”