, the world's best known internet vendor, plans to add to its UK and German retail sites, but is zip-lipped as to the new venture’s location.

The company has previously eyed the French market but, according to chief operating officer Joseph Galli, it is also interested in Spain and Italy. "We believe Europe is the company's greatest long-term opportunity," he said.

Amazon sales have almost doubled in the past year, and although its US books division has edged into profit five years after its launch, losses elsewhere have risen steeply. Mr Galli declined to say when the company as a whole might emerge from the red. He does, however, expect to become profitable in less time than the US books operation.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)