Amazon.com net sales, marketing expenses up

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Amazon.com reported a net sales increase of 51% in the second quarter to $9.9 billion, compared with the second quarter of 2010. Marketing expenses increased 61.6% to $341 million in Q2 for the Seattle-based e-commerce company.

The online retailer's operating income was $201 million in the second quarter, a decrease of 25.5% compared with the prior year. Net income also decreased, falling 8% year-over-year to $191 million in the period.

The company generated $5.4 billion in North America sales, an increase of 51% compared with the second quarter of 2010. Its international segment also saw a year-over-year increase of 51% in net sales to $4.5 billion

“The second quarter represented the strongest growth we've had year-over-year in 10 years,” said Thomas Szkutak, CFO of Amazon.com. “For Q3, we expect net sales between $10.3 billion and $11.1 billion.”

Amazon launched private sales site MyHabit.com during the quarter and acquired The Book Depository International, an online bookseller. It was also one of several e-commerce companies to terminate California advertising affiliate contracts during the period in protest of the state's passage of an online sales tax law.

“We remain heads-down-focused on driving a better experience for customers,” said Szkutak. “We're very focused on the customer experience. We feel very good about those investments.”  

Net sales increased 38% year-over-year to $9.86 billion in the first quarter, while marketing expenses increased 62.7% to $327 million.

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