Seattle — Amazon.com reported a $274 million net loss on a net sales increase of 27 percent, to $13.81 billion, in the third quarter, ended Sept. 30.
Amazon blamed the red ink on a $169 million loss related to its equity-method share of the losses reported by LivingSocial, primarily attributable to its impairment charge of certain assets, including goodwill. In the prior year’s third quarter Amazon reported net income of $63 million.
Amazon also reported an operating loss of $28 million in the third quarter, compared with operating income of $79 million in third quarter 2011.
North America segment sales, representing amounts earned from retail sales of consumer products (including from sellers) and subscriptions through North America-focused websites, and including amounts earned from Amazon Web Services (AWS), were $7.88 billion, up 33 percent from third quarter 2011.
Worldwide electronics and other general merchandise sales grew 36 percent to $8.56 billion. Excluding the unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, sales grew 39 percent.
Worldwide media sales grew 11 percent to $4.60 billion. Excluding the unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, sales grew 14 percent.
In a prepared statement Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, emphasized the positives, namely the market shares of several of its products.
“Our approach is to work hard to charge less. Sell devices near break-even and you can pack a lot of sophisticated hardware into a very low price point,” said Bezos. “And our approach is working — the $199 Kindle Fire HD is the No. 1 best-selling product across Amazon worldwide. Incredibly, this is true even as measured by unit sales. The next two best-selling products worldwide are our Kindle Paperwhite and our $69 Kindle. We’re selling more of each of these devices than the No. 4 best-selling product, book three of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” series. And we haven’t even started shipping our best tablet — the $299 Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch ships Nov. 20.”