Seattle - Third quarter sales in the North American consumer electronics segment at Amazon.com soared 35 percent, hitting $180.4 million, up from $133.4 million in the year-ago period.
North American sales for media, the largest Amazon segment, which includes DVD/video, video games and video game consoles, climbed 15 percent in the third quarter, ended Sept. 30, reaching $502.3 million, up from $435.8 million in the same three months in 2002.
Increased business in both North American segments, as well as fast-climbing international segment sales, helped move overall Amazon earnings into the black during the third quarter, the first non-holiday period to escape a bath of red ink.
Both the CE and media segments helped contribute to a 21 percent jump in third quarter North American sales, increasing to $709.3 million, compared with $587 million in the previous year.
Operating income climbed 137 percent in North America in the third quarter, to $62.5 million, up from $26.3 million year on year. Gross margin as a percent of North American net sales was 28 percent in the third quarter, compared with 26 percent in the same period a year ago.
For the nine months, North American CE segment sales increased 34 percent, to $526 million, up from $391.2 million in the third quarter last year. Media segment sales rose 13 percent in the nine months, to $1.5 billion, from $1.3 billion in the same period in 2002.
Amazon's international sales took a big leap in the third quarter, rising 61 percent, to $425.2 million, up from $264.3 million year on year. International segment operating income in the third quarter also took a giant step, increasing to $11 million, compared with $1 million in the same quarter a year ago.
The combination of back-to-school purchases and free shipping helped boost consolidated third quarter Amazon sales 33 percent, reaching $1.1 billion, up from $851.3 million in the prior year.
Consolidated net income was $15.6 million in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $35.1 million year over year, as the company was helped by favorable exchange rates. Pro forma net income was $48.4 million in the three months, compared with a profit of $353,000 in the same quarter last year.
Nine-month consolidated sales rose to $3.3 billion, up from $2.5 billion in the same nine months a year ago. For the nine months, Amazon's consolidated net loss dropped to $37.9 million, down from a year-ago loss of $151.8 million. Pro forma net income for the nine months was $131 million, compared with a pro forma net loss of $8.9 million year over year.
Amazon expects fourth sales to range between $1.76 billion and $1.91 billion, or grow between 23 percent and 34 percent, compared with the fourth quarter of 2002. For the 12 months, the retailer anticipates sales between $5.75 billion and $6.25 billion.