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Google search helps to buoy global profits

Google: profits up despite downturnGoogle’s search business has played a key role in guiding the company through the current economic downturn, it has been revealed.

Google.com proved the most lucrative venture for the firm, which has reported a net profit of $1.42 billion (£0.95bn) for the first three months of the year. Google-owned sites generated revenues of $3.7 billion.

Google’s net profit is up 9 per cent compared with the $1.31 billion made for the first quarter of last year, with the UK search market accounting for $733 million.

The company’s revenues came in at $5.51 billion. That is 6 per cent higher than for the same period last year, but a decrease of 3 per cent on the last quarter of 2008.

The positive news comes despite the downturn in businesses’ advertising spends – one of the general symptoms of the recession.

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said: “Google had a good quarter given the depth of the recession.

“These results underline both the resilience of our business model and the ongoing potential of the web as users and advertisers shift online,” he added.
Mr Schmidt did concede Google has been affected by the global economic problems: “We are in uncharted territory economically and Google is, absolutely, feeling the impact.”

Despite this, he said Google is well positioned to cope with the advertising dip, especially given their status as the world’s number one search engine: “Advertisers are still spending, but they are lowering their bids.

“The shift to online advertising gives us a big advantage and outpaces any losses from [decreasing] economic activity,” he added.

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