Google’s parent company, Alphabet, ended 2021 on another high note, reporting better than expected results in a year when it nearly doubled profits despite growing regulatory scrutiny of its business.
The company reported revenues of $75.3bn for the three months ending 31 December, up 32% compared to last year, and a profit of $20.6bn, comfortably beating analysts’ expectations. Alphabet’s shares rose close to 7% in after-hours trading.
Google, the latest of the US tech giants to report earnings in what has been a rocky reporting season for some of tech’s smaller players, once again showed how powerful it remains in search, video and online advertising.
The company’s advertising revenues came in at $61.2bn for the quarter, up from $46.2bn the same time last year, as it continued to benefit from a pandemic-led boom in digital advertising.
Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Alphabet and Google, said: “Our deep investment in AI technologies continues to drive extraordinary and helpful experiences for people and businesses, across our most important products.”
Alphabet faces a flotilla of regulatory inquiries in the US and Europe over its dominance in digital advertising. Last month, Texas, Indiana, Washington state and the District of Columbia sued Alphabet over alleged privacy violations. The company allegedly continued to track users’ locations even when they had turned off the “location history” setting.