Kindle demand unusually strong, drives Amazon profits up 9%

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Kindle demand unusually strong, drives Amazon profits up 9%

Seattle (WA) – Yesterday, reported quarterly financial results for the period ending December 31, 2008. Net sales increased 18% to $6.7 billion, compared to $5.67 billion a year ago. Excluding a one-time charge of $320 million, net sales would have been up 24%. For the year, net sales increased 29% to $19.17 billion, compared with $14.84 billion a year ago.

Amazon cites North American sales up 18% to $3.63 billion, international sales including U.K., Japan, France and China, were up 19% to $3.07 billion. Worldwide media sales increased 9% to $3.64 billion, while electronics and other general merchandise sales grew 31% to $2.89 billion.’s CEO, Jeff Bezos said, “We’re particularly grateful for the unusually strong demand for Kindle in the fourth quarter.”

In looking forward to 2009, Amazon expects continued growth with quarterly net sales between $4.525 billion and $4.925 billion, growing in the range of 9% to 19%.

There is speculation right now that Kindle 2, Amazon’s next-gen e-reader, could arrive as soon as February 9, 2009 (see our coverage).

See’s press release.