Google Beats The Street As Q2 Sales Hit £5.6 Billion

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Google demonstrated its growing financial muscle after posting a 32 percent rise in second quarter sales

Google has broken the $9 billion (£5.6bn) sales mark for the first time ever in the second quarter, after sales rose a whopping 32 percent over Q2 2010 revenues of $6.82 billion (£4.2bn).

Excluding $2.11 billion (£1.3bn) in traffic-acquisition costs, the search engine notched $6.92 billion (£4.3bn) in net revenue in the second quarter of 2011 and non-GAAP earnings per share of $8.74 (£5.42). Analysts polled by Wall Street had expected $6.54 billion (£4bn) in revenue and $7.87 (£4.88) in earnings per share.

Google, which saw company co-founder Larry Page streamline the management team after taking the reins from Eric Schmidt as CEO in April, also recorded a profit of $2.51 billion (£1.5bn), up from $1.84 billion (£1.1bn) in Q2 2010.

Google+ Response

“We had a great quarter, with revenue up 32 percent year-on-year for a record breaking over $9 billion of revenue,” Google CEO Larry Page said in a statement, adding that he was “super excited about the amazing response to Google+.

So excited was Page about Google+’ momentum that he provided user metrics for the social service. Google+, which in a departure from Facebook’s initial approach lets users add contacts manually and group them into specific social circles, launched 28 June to limited field testing.

“Not surprisingly this has been very well received because, in real life, we share different things with different people,” Page said on the company’s Q2 earnings conference call, noting that the invite-only process is necessary to let the company scale the service.

Through the first two weeks of use, Page said + has gained more the 10 million users, which dovetails with estimates offered by and + user Paul Allen earlier this week.

Page also said Google+ users are sharing and receiving more than 1 billion items each day. Google’s +1 recommendation button, which lets users click a button to share search results and ads they like, is being served 2.3 billion times each day.

Android Activations

Page also reported Android usage numbers. The company is seeing 550,000 devices activated per day, up from 500,000 units just last month.

Moreover, the Android Market has seen more than 6 billion total downloads. These metrics are happening across 400 different Android smartphones and Honeycomb tablet computers.

Google’s search growth remains strong, with paid clicks growing 18 percent over Q2 2010. Average cost-per-click rose 12 percent over Q2 2010 and increased 6 percent over Q1 2011. The company maintained its 65.5 percent search share through June, comScore said.

Google launched several new search products, including voice and image search on the desktop and Instant Pages search.

Google’s Q2 wasn’t without its bumps. The company learned the Federal Trade Commission would investigate the company for possible antitrust violations related to its search-ad business. The Justice Department is also scrutinising the company’s bid to buy Admeld for $400 million.

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