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Amazon Q3 Sales Up 31%, Profits Double

SEATTLE — said lower prices, an expanded assortment and its freeshipping offers helped drive a 31 percent spike in third-quarter sales to $4.3 billion.

Net income increased 48 percent to $118 million for the three months, ended Sept. 30.

Sales in North America rose 29 percent to $2.3 billion, representing 54 percent of total sales, and operating income increased 12 percent to $88 million.

North American sales of electronics and other general merchandise rose 51 percent to $950 million, and sales of media increased 15 percent to $1.2 billion.

The latter category includes sales of books, movies, music, digital downloads, software and video gaming. Electronics and other general merchandise includes CE, computers and all other categories not included in media.

“We remain relentlessly focused on delivering value to customers through lower prices, improved selection and our free-shipping offers,” said Jeff Bezos, the company’s founder and CEO. He noted that shoppers are benefiting from Amazon’s increased operational efficiencies in the form of lower prices.

The company noted that titles for its Kindle electronic reader now account for more than 10 percent of unit sales for books that are available in print and digital formats. Kindle book selections have more than doubled to 185,000 titles since the device launched 11 months ago.

Looking ahead, the company lowered projected fourth-quarter sales from $7.2 billion, to between $6 billion and $7 billion, which would represent year-over-year growth of between 6 percent and 23 percent. Business started to slow in September, executives said, particularly for items priced more than $1,000.