Google 2012 revenue hits US$50 billion, profits up
By Glenn Chapman, AFPSAN FRANCISCO--Google reported Tuesday that its profit climbed and its annual revenue hit an unprecedented high last year as it evolved to stay in tune with people using smartphones and tablets.
January 24, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
“We ended 2012 with a strong quarter,” said Google co-founder and chief executive Larry Page. “We hit US$50 billion in revenues for the first time last year; not a bad achievement in just a decade and a half.”
The fourth-quarter profit was up 6.7 percent from a year earlier at US$2.89 billion, and for the full year Google's earnings grew 10 percent to US$10.74 billion.
Revenue in the quarter that ended Dec. 31 was up 36 percent from the same period a year earlier at US$14.4 billion. For the year, revenues grew to US$50.2 billion.
Google shares jumped more than five percent to US$738.20 in after-market trading that followed release of the earnings figures, which topped most Wall Street estimates.
Google dominates the U.S. online advertising market, which grew 14.9 percent to US$10.58 billion in the final three months of last year, according to eMarketer.
The market tracker estimated that Google takes in more than 41 percent of digital ad revenue in the United States and “holds more share than any other company” when it comes to online, display and mobile advertising.
In a conference call with financial analysts, Google executives stressed how the company is connecting with people on smartphones and tablets, and cautioned that it would take time to get freshly acquired Motorola Mobility on course.
Page said he was excited about progress Google has made in handling search queries spoken to mobile devices and described the online Play shop for music, books, applications and other digital content as “on fire.”
Google's mapping service program tailored for Apple gadgets running on the iOS platform have been a hit, Page said, adding that its search and email programs are also popular on Apple devices.
“We now live in a multiscreen world; in fact, we feel naked without our smartphones,” Page said. “Devices have been one of our biggest bets in the last few years, along with the software that goes with these devices.”
In an indirect shot at the Apple iPad Mini launched late last year, Page said Google's Nexus 7 “continues to define the seven-inch tablet category.”
Google has been shedding unwanted Motorola Mobility assets since it completed its US$12.5 billion takeover of the company last year.
Chief financial officer Patrick Pichette said during the earnings call that the Internet giant has “12 to 18 months of product pipeline it is still working through” at Motorola.
In December, Google announced it was selling the Motorola Mobility Home unit to global communications technology company ARRIS in a cash and stock deal valued at US$2.35 billion.