Everyone's favourite seller of consumer goods Amazon.com has declared that revenue in the fourth quarter grew by 42% year over year, rising from a miserly $6.7 billion  to $9.52 billion. Amazon's net profit also grew nicely in the final quarter, from $225 million in 2008 to $384 million in 2009. The kind and loving corporation stated it profited from favourable exchange rates - sans better rates it would have grown merely 37 percent in the quarter.

The fourth quarter accounted for the major part of Amazon's turnover. Punters seem to enjoy buying Christmas presents online, instead of having to stand toe-to-toe in ubercrowded stores, shops and warehouses. At least in this part of Europe, where internet-savvy citizens prefer to stay home and buy via Amazon than to venture forth into streets crowded by hundreds and thousands of tourists visiting the traditional, oh-so pretty Christmas market to get drunk on hot wine punch, wear silly Christmas hats and generate a ruckus rather annoying to mild-mannered, sophisticated humanities students who merely want a nice, warm cup of coffee to warm their hands whilst reading Horkheimer, Adorno, Habermas and the good old French sociologists.

Revenue grew by over $5 billion in the full year, rising from $19.2 billion to $24.5 billion. All in all, Amazon posted a profit of $902 million in 2009, compared to $645  million one year earlier. North America still accounted for over half the sales. Electronics were most in demand in the USA, whereas punters overseas mainly bought books and DVDs from the online retailer.

Jeff Bezos, the clever guy who started Amazon.com, stated that millions of people actually bought Kindles. Apparently six Kindle books are sold for every 10 real books (made of paper), if both editions are available. Amazon refrained stating the actual number of shipped units, or sold digital books.