Pure play e-tailer Amazon has reported record Christmas trading as sales soared 22 per cent to $21.3 billion (£13.5 billion) in its fourth quarter despite a fall in net income, it has been announced.
Buoyed by sales of its Kindle tablet range, operating income in the quarter ended December 31st 2012 rocketed 56 per cent to $405 million, though net income nosedived 45 per cent to $97 million.
Conversely, for the full year, net sales increased 27 per cent to $61.1 billion while operating income plummeted to $676 million, down 22 per cent on the same period in 2011 and net loss over the course of the year stood at $39 million.
While sales figures fell short of analysts expectations, Amazon believes that the unrelenting popularity of its tablets is driving growth and is indicative of a wider trend.
“We’re now seeing the transition we’ve been expecting,” Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s Founder and CEO said of the results.
“After 5 years, eBooks is a multi-billion dollar category for us and growing fast – up approximately 70 per cent last year.
“In contrast, our physical book sales experienced the lowest December growth rate in our 17 years as a book seller, up just 5 per cent.
“We’re excited and very grateful to our customers for their response to Kindle and our ever expanding ecosystem and selection.”
Amazon’s shares rebounded by over nine per cent in after-market trading after falling 5.7 per cent yesterday following the announcement, the Financial Times reported.