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Strong growth at Amazon.com

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The Kindle remains top of the bestselling list at Amazon.com, the retailer said as it unveiled a 68% rise in profits in the first quarter of its financial year.

As of this week there are now 500,000 titles available to download to the 3G wireless e-books reader, said the global books-to-electronics trader.

But in the UK the bestselling product was the DVD of the latest Twilight movie, with Stieg Larsson’s three novels, including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Hurt Locker, also performing well.

Amazon.com reported net sales up 46% (or 42% after stripping out the positive effects of currency fluctuation) to $7.13bn (£4.64bn) in the three months to March 31. Its international division, which includes the UK, saw sales up by 45% (37% after currency changes) to $3.35bn (£2.18bn).

Net income rose to $299 million (£194.6m), from $177m (£115.2m) at the same time last year.

Founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos said: “We remain heads-down focused on customers.”

Amazon.com predicted second quarter sales would be between $6.1bn (£3.97bn) and $6.7bn (£4.4bn), growing by between 31% and 44% compared to the second quarter of 2009.

Our view: Amazon is leading the way as bookreading goes digital, with the Kindle still its bestselling item and half a million book downloads now available for it.

But it’ll be interesting to see if the Kindle is still where it is at this time next year or if the recently launched iPad will prove a real challenger as an e-reader.

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