SAN FRANCISCO: During the run-up to Christmas online retail giant Amazon boasted it was enjoying its "best ever" holiday season – a claim dismissed by some folk as "just whistling in the dark". 

They were wrong. For the quarter ended December 31, Amazon's net profit rose 9% year-on-year to $225 million (€171.61m; £157.41m), up from $207m in the same quarter last year.

Commented Amazon founder/ceo Jeff Bezos, as most other retailers (both on- and off-line) beat their breasts and rent the heavens with cries of woe: "We remain relentlessly focused on serving customers with low prices, great selection and free shipping offers, including Amazon Prime."

"We're particularly grateful for the unusually strong demand for Kindle in the fourth quarter," huzzahed Bezos, referring to Amazon's electronic book reader, which was out of stock for most of the holiday season.

Data sourced from International Herald-Tribune; additional content by WARC staff