Google has announced that profits in the final three months of last year were up 7% to $2.89bn compared with same period the previous year, and that revenues were up by more than a third, touching $14.4bn.
The figures mean Google achieved record revenues last year, which topped $50bn for the first time. Not surprisingly, shares in the firm were up 5% in after-hours trading – investors are obviously pleased by the better-than-expected financial performance.
Chief executive Larry Page said: ‘We ended 2012 with a strong quarter and we hit $50bn in revenues for the first time last year – not a bad achievement in just a decade and a half.
‘In today’s multi-screen world we face tremendous opportunities as a technology company focused on user benefit. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be at Google.’
Are today’s figures directly comparable with the same period the previous year, we hear you ask? Well, we didn’t hear you ask it, but it’s important: Google bought Motorola in May 2012, and the subsidiary actually made a loss in the Q4 period. This means that profits might have been higher if the acquisition is not included.
Meanwhile, Google is still trying to fend off accusations from the European Commission that it has been artificially placing its own services higher in its rankings to achieve competitive advantage. It has been found innocent of the practice in the US, but the probe in Europe is ongoing.
Nonetheless, it’s hard to see how anyone will be able to topple Google from its throne as the king of internet search. Apart from the threat of a massive antitrust settlement from the EC (which looks highly unlikely), there’s little else on the horizon…