CONTINUED growth in advertising revenue helped Google post a double-digit rise in sales in the first quarter of 2015.
The technology giant booked revenues of $17.3 billion (£11.4bn), a 12 per cent rise on the same period last year with money earned from advertising up to more than $15bn. Operating income was up from $4.1bn to $4.4bn year-on-year.
The firm reported earnings of $6.57 a share, just below analyst expectations, but showed slight growth over the same quarter in 2014. The news comes in the wake of Google announcing that it is changing how search results will appear on mobile devices in Europe, with preference being given to those sites the company determines are “mobile-friendly”.
Google’s chief financial officer Patrick Pichette said: “We continue to see great momentum in our mobile advertising business and opportunities with brand advertisers.”
The financial results also showed Google continuing on the trend of hiring new staff, with numbers up 9,000 on this time last year.
Currency exchange rates have had an impact on Google’s financials, something analysts predicted because of the strong dollar.
According to Google, had foreign exchange rates stayed the same over the last year, revenues in this quarter would have been $795m higher.
Earlier this week, Google announced its latest venture in the shape of Project Fi, a mobile network that is beginning trials in the US.
The new network will combine mobile signal from carriers and wi-fi, automatically and intelligently jumping between them depending on which is the strongest. Google says the aim is to ensure users are always able to communicate with each other.
Fellow tech giant Amazon had earlier said that strong demand for cloud computing services helped its revenue jump 15 per cent in the first quarter. The company also reported a smaller quarterly loss than expected.
Investors have been growing restless with Amazon’s long-term strategy of ploughing most of the money it makes into new areas like cloud computing, streaming video and hardware – leading to razor-thin profits or, in this quarter’s case, a loss.
The company shows no sign of slowing down new offerings. In recent months Amazon introduced Amazon Echo, a Bluetooth speaker that responds to voice commands, and Amazon Dash, stand-alone buttons that can be pressed to reorder common household goods like Tide detergent.
It has also rolled out services that help users book travel and hire people to complete household projects. And it is expanding Amazon Prime Instant Video, developing new content for its Prime members including a TV series with Woody Allen.