Seattle – Amazon.com reported a third-quarter net loss of $437 million, compared to a $41 million loss for the year-ago period, as it continued to invest heavily in infrastructure.
Net sales for the three months ended Sept. 30 rose 20 percent to $20.6 billion, while operating expenses increased 23.4 percent to $21.1 billion, reflecting greater investments in technology, content, marketing and fulfillment.
In North America, sales rose 25 percent to $12.9 billion and the company’s core “electronics and other general merchandise” segment saw a 31-percent spike in sales, to $8.8 billion. Revenue from media rose 5 percent to $2.7 billion.
In a statement, Amazon founder/CEO Jeff Bezos ticked off a list of his company’s value-added features, which he said are intended to make “the customer experience easier and more stress-free than ever” for the upcoming holiday season. Among the offers:
*“Already low prices”;
* More than 15,000 “Lightning Deals” with early access to select deals for Prime members;
*Hundreds of millions of products across dozens of categories;
*Curated gift lists like Holiday Toy List and Electronics Holiday Gift Guide;
*New features like #AmazonWishList;
*A new lineup of proprietary products like Kindle Voyage and Fire HD Kids Edition, and;
*Donating a percentage of the purchase price to a customer’s favorite charity if transacted on AmazonSmile.
The company also cited such third-quarter accomplishments as the release of more original video and gaming content; the launch of a 3-D print-on-demand online store; and the expansion of its same-day, fresh-grocery delivery service to Brooklyn, N.Y.
The e-tailer also reported that its Amazon Fire TV is the company’s best-selling streaming set-top box in the U.S., the U.K. and Germany.
Looking ahead, Amazon projected sales growth of between 7 percent and 18 percent for the fourth quarter, and operating income that could come in anywhere between a gain of $430 million and a loss of $570 million, compared to last year’s $510 million increase.