Amazon on Wednesday reported bumper sales and profits as the weaker US dollar and higher oil prices helped boost sales overseas. Shares in the online bookseller jumped as much as 8 per cent as investors reacted to the news.

Amazon on Wednesday said that growth had remained robust during the three months ending in June, lending credence to the idea that online retailers might fare better than their bricks-and-mortar counterparts in the slower economic environment, as high fuel costs make shoppers more reluctant to drive to stores.

“We expect that higher fuel prices may be a relative advantage for us,” said Tom Szkutak, chief financial officer.

“Even driving 10 miles these days is a few dollars of gasoline.”

The company, which sells books, music, consumer electronics and other items to customers around the world, said its net profit had more than doubled in the period to $158m. Sales were $4.06bn, an increase of 41 per cent from last time.

Operating profit rose 86 per cent to $217m, boosted by a $17m gain from favourable currency exchange rates and a one-time $53m gain from the sale of the company’s European DVD rental business.

Excluding those gains, the results were broadly in line with Wall Street estimates.

Amazon’s overseas sales saw the biggest increases, with revenues in the UK, Germany, Japan, France and China up 47 per cent from the second quarter last year to $1.89bn.

Sales outside Amazon’s home market accounted for 47 per cent of the company’s revenue in the quarter, up from 45 per cent last time.

North American sales also posted gains, with sales in the US and Canada up 35 per cent to $2.17bn.

Looking ahead, Amazon said that it expected sales in the third quarter of $4.2bn-$4.43bn.

The online retailer said that operating profit could fall as much as 6 per cent or rise as much as 31 per cent during the period.

Amazon shares rose 3.8 per cent to $70.54 on Wednesday ahead of the company’s earnings announcement. The shares had fallen about 15 per cent since the beginning of the year.

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