Amazon saw a four-fold increase in revenue from its co.uk website in the fourth quarter of last year.
The US online retailer claims to have served more than one million customers on the UK site since it was launched in October 1998. However, both parent and regional offshoots continue to operate in the red, despite booming traffic and revenue.
Amazon.co.uk saw a 430 per cent increase in revenue for the fourth quarter of 1999, up from £4.9m in 1998 to £26m. Amazon.de in Germany also saw a strong quarter, posting about $30m (£18m) in revenue for the quarter.
"The fourth quarter of 1999 was a defining moment in ecommerce," said Joe Galli, Amazon's president and chief operating officer. "We emerged from the Christmas period with a great track record of serving our customers.
"Ecommerce is on fire in the UK," he added.
Galli shrugged off the spate of denial-of-service attacks on a number of leading US websites including Amazon.com. He said that the amount of money and energy being devoted to internet security meant that hacking would cease to be a problem in the future.
"Hacking is not a new issue. That kind of online vandalism has been around as long as the internet and the headlines last week sensationalised it," he said. One day, "it will be eradicated from society".
The UK, German and US sites, in that order, now occupy the top three positions in the public awareness ratings of leading European websites, claimed Galli.
Amazon added 3.8 million registered customers - those who have conducted at least one transaction - in the fourth quarter to reach a total of 17 million worldwide, he said. In the US, about 73 per cent of revenue was repeat customers and the average spend per customer rose $10 in 1999 to $116.
Amazon is to create 500 new jobs in the UK this year with a new distribution facility in Milton Keynes and headquarters in Slough.
The retailer is likely to expand its product line in Europe, following the US model by adding software, consumer electronics and toys to its existing range of books and music CDs. It is also planning further country launches, with France and Scandinavia believed to be top of the list.
"We want to expand our selection to grow our range of products, " he said, noting that in the US Amazon is selling cars in partnership with car site greenlight.com.
Last week, Amazon reported fourth quarter revenue up to $676m compared with $252.8m in 1998. Net loss grew to $323.2m compared with $46.4m for the same period in 1998. These included some exceptional items.
For the fiscal 1999, Amazon reported sales up 169 per cent to $1.64bn compared with $609m in fiscal 1998.
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