Amazon sees quarterly loss narrow as sales surge

Amazon logo on an iPad
Image caption Amazon has been looking to attract more consumers and also reduce shipping costs

Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, saw its losses narrow in the third quarter as its sales grew more than expected.

It reported a net loss of $41m (£25m) for the July-September period. That is down from $274m a year earlier.

The firm said that its sales surged 24% from a year ago to $17.1bn.

The firm forecast its sales would grow further in the current quarter. That saw its shares rise by as much as 9.6% in after-hours trading in New York.

RJ Jottovy, an analyst with Morningstar, said that "it looks like the revenue momentum will continue into the fourth quarter" despite the macro business environment being tough.

Amazon said it expects fourth-quarter sales of $23.5bn to $26.5bn. Analysts had forecast revenue of $25.9bn.

'Busy few months'

This is the third quarter in a row that Amazon has posted a net loss.

However, the firm has been taking steps to try to turn around its fortunes.

This includes expanding its Kindle line of e-readers and tablets and boosting its delivery network and cloud-computing services.

The company has also been building more warehouses to reduce shipping costs and is adding robots to increase its efficiency in delivering orders.

Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon, said in a statement that ''it's been a busy few months" for the company.

At the same time some of the services being offered by the firm have also helped to attract consumers.

Mr Bezos added that one Amazon service called Prime had signed up "millions" of new members.

The service offers free two-day shipping for eligible purchases. Members also get access to Amazon Instant Video and have the ability to borrow books from other Kindle owners.

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