Blow for Amazon as its third quarter losses rise to $274m

Michael Bow
Follow Michael
AMAZON, the online retailer, was hit by a $274m (£170m) net loss yesterday as it was dragged into the red by struggling online business LivingSocial.

Despite an impressive 27 per cent increase in third quarter sales, the firm’s investment and capital expenditure programme cancelled out $13.8bn of sales to incur a bottom line loss equal to 60 cents a share.

This time last year the firm made $63m of profits.

Amazon, which yesterday put its Kindle Fire HD device on sale in the UK, reported a $169m balance sheet loss related to LivingSocial, an online coupon deal service.

Amazon poured $175m into LivingSocial nearly two years ago, but the book value of its investment dropped in the third quarter, leading to a loss equivalent to 37 cents per share.

The firm said the next quarter would fare better, with net sales expected to be between $20.3bn and $22.8bn. This equates to growth of between 16 per cent and 31 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. Income is expected to be as high as $310m or as low as a $490m loss.