Google profits surge despite pressure over hate videos

(c) Sky News 2017: <a href="http://news.sky.com/story/google-profits-surge-despite-pressure-over-hate-videos-10853641">Google profits surge despite pressure over hate videos</a>
 

Google's parent company Alphabet (Xetra: ABEA.DE - news) shrugged off pressure over online hate videos as it posted a 29% rise in quarterly profits.

Big firms in the UK and US have been pulling ads from Google's YouTube platform after discovering their brands appearing alongside videos promoting terrorism and other inappropriate content.

But first quarter results from Alphabet showed profits up 29% to $5.4bn (£4.2bn), helped by a surge in advertising on mobiles and YouTube.

Ad revenues were up 19% to $21.4bn (£16.6bn) with paid clicks - where an advertiser only pays if a user clicks on ads - up by a better than expected 44%.

Shares (Berlin: DI6.BE - news) were 5% higher in after-hours trading.

Chief (Taiwan OTC: 3345.TWO - news) financial officer Ruth Porat said: "Our excellent results represent a terrific start to 2017.

"YouTube revenues continue to grow at a significant rate, driven primarily by video advertising."

Google last month apologised over the ads controversy which saw big brands in the UK including Marks & Spencer (Frankfurt: 534418 - news) , Tesco (Frankfurt: 852647 - news) , Sainsbury (Amsterdam: SJ6.AS - news) 's, Volkswage, RBS (LSE: RBS.L - news) , HSBC and Lloyds suspending ads, as well as the UK Government.

The boycott also spread to some firms in the US.

Google said it would step up efforts to block ads on "hateful, offensive and derogatory" videos and police its websites better by hiring new staff and overhauling its policies.

Elsewhere, first quarter results from Amazon also beat expectations, with sales up 23% to $35.7bn (£27.7bn) and profit climbing 41% to $724m (£561m).

Meanwhile, Microsoft (Euronext: MSF.NX - news) disappointed investors with lower than expected revenues as sales from its personal computing division - including its Windows software and Xbox consoles - fell.

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