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Google’s Revenue Down, But Profits Up, In First Quarter

Even the giants don’t go untouched by recession. That seems to be the lesson to draw from Google’s announcement yesterday of its first quarter earnings, which largely fell in line with Wall Street expectations.

It was the first time the company had experienced a drop in revenue since it went public, and at $5.5 billion it was down 3%, but that’s a 6% increase over the first quarter of 2008. The good news is that profits rose 8.9%, from $1.31billion to $1.42billion.

Eric Schmidt, chief executive of Google, said:

"Google had a good quarter given the depth of the recession—while revenues were down quarter over quarter, they grew 6 per cent year over year, thanks to continued strong query growth. These results underline both the resilience of our business model and the ongoing potential of the web as users and advertisers shift online."

UK earnings rose by 7%, to $733 million, and Nikesh Arora, who’s run Google’s UK and European business for the past four years, has been promoted to the company’s sales chief as a reward.

Google also announced it now was $18 billion in the bank, an increase of $2 billion.

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