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Amazon made £428 per second in run up to Christmas

ONLINE HIT: Amazon brought in sales of more than £13 billion in the last three months of 2012

ONLINE RETAILER Amazon made £428 per second in the last three months of 2012, it has been revealed.

The popular site, which was highly criticised by the media, politicians and the public over its small corporation tax payments in the UK, along with Google and Starbucks brought in sales of more than £13 billion in the three-month run up to Christmas. It is not known how much of that came from UK buyers as Amazon famously refuses to split open its European sales into individual countries.

Last year, it was reported that Amazon generated UK sales over the past three years of between £7.6bn and £10.3bn but paid virtually no corporation tax.

At the same time, UK-based retailers including HMV, Jessops and Blockbuster were forced into administration.

"Amazon's stellar sales performance in December will only re-ignite the tax controversy and pour fuel on the bonfire of the UK high street carnage they are causing," predicted Nick Hood, business analyst at Company Watch.

"But the real issue is not the ethical criticism, nor their growing cash mountain, but the wafer thin profitability. It must be galling for its struggling bricks and mortar retail competitors to see their business models being destroyed by Amazon on what is still little more a loss leader basis."

The top seller for Christmas was the Kindle for the second year running. Amazon said sales of ebooks rocketed by 70 percent in 2012, while sales of physical books suffered the lowest sales in Amazon's 17 years - but even they rose by 5 percent.

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