Amazon UK has appointed a financial director to boost its senior team as it considers new categories for 2008 including food and digital downloads.

Shaun McCabe has joined from DIY chain Homebase, where he was head of trading finance.

Amazon UK chief executive Brian McBride said: “Shaun brings good retail experience. We now have a very solid senior team with lots of heavy hitters sharing the load.”

McBride said that, although a full food offer was not an immediate prospect, he is considering selling gourmet or packaged food. This year, Amazon will also launch its digital music download service in the UK following a pilot in the US.

He said that the shoe offer launched in the UK last year has been successful. In the US, Amazon has a dedicated shoes and accessories site called Endless. “We may look at a dedicated site with a different brand name in about a year,” said McBride.

Amazon reported fourth quarter earnings of US$207 million (£105.2 million), compared with US$98 million (£49.8 million) for the equivalent period in 2006. Net sales rose 42 per cent to US$5.67 billion (£2.88 billion).

International growth, including the UK, was 46 per cent. McBride said: “My biggest challenge is handling growth, which is a lovely challenge to have, but you cannot have any slack in the system.”

In April, Amazon’s new warehouse, its fourth in the UK, will open in Swansea. The e-tailer hopes the shed will allow same-day delivery to five or six big cities over the next few years. Since November, customers in London and Birmingham have had access to that service.

Amazon has become the biggest shareholder in DVD rental business, following Lovefilm’s acquisition of Amazon Europe’s DVD rental business in the UK and Germany.