Seattle--Sales continued to climb for Amazon.com Inc. in the third quarter, with the company reporting a 24 percent increase to $17.09 billion as compared with $13.81 billion in the same period last year.

As Amazon’s net sales increased in the three-month period ended Sept. 30, its losses narrowed.

Operating loss in the third quarter was $25 million, compared with an operating loss of $28 million in the prior-year period. Net loss was $41 million, a vast improvement over the third quarter 2012 when net loss totaled $274 million.

In North America, representing the company’s U.S. and Canadian sites, net sales hit $10.3 billion in the three-month period, compared with $7.89 billion in the third quarter 2012.

Sales of electronics and other merchandise, the category that includes fine jewelry, increased from $5.06 billion in the third quarter 2012 in North America to $6.73 billion in the third quarter 2013.

Looking ahead, Amazon said it expects companywide net sales for the fourth quarter to be between $23.5 billion and $26.5 billion, or growth of between 10 and 25 percent compared to the prior- year period.

Amazon.com remains one of the leading online retail companies. The publishing and communications group of the National Retail Federation, Stores Media, released a list of retailers last month with the most enviable online operations as well as a ranking of consumers’ favorite e-commerce sites, and Amazon.com made both lists.

Stores magazine also reported this summer that Amazon is getting closer to cracking the list of the top 10 retailers in the United States. It jumped from No. 15 to No. 11 this year with $34.42 billion in U.S. sales, a 30 percent year-over-year increase.


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