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Google up, Samsung down, in tech sector financial reports

Alphabet, the parent company of technology giant Google, has reported a 20 per cent jump in revenue in its latest financial results.

The strong results were driven by revenue of $22.5bn (£18.4bn) for the last quarter, up from $18.7bn (£15.3bn) in the same period last year.

As expected, the vast majority of this money came from the Google business, with only around 200 million dollars coming from the so-called “Other Bets” area of Alphabet as a whole, which includes the self-driving car business and technology it continues to test in California.

Alphabet’s chief financial officer Ruth Porat said: “We had a great third quarter, with 20 per cent revenue growth year on year, and 23 per cent on a constant currency basis. Mobile search and video are powering our core advertising business and we’re excited about the progress of newer businesses in Google and Other Bets.”

But Samsung has not fared nearly so well, with profits plunging 30 per cent for the quarter due to the recall of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphones over safety fears.

A problem with the construction of the batteries resulted in a number of the devices catching fire around the world. The issue has been partly blamed on a lack of quality assurance due to Samsung’s accelerated phone development cycles in its attempt to compete with Apple. 

The South Korean firm said operating profits fell to 5.2tn South Korean won (£3.8bn), and it said it expects the Note 7 fiasco to cost it at least $5.3bn (£4.3bn) heading into next year.

Elsewhere, Amazon has reported that its sales are up 29 per cent on the same period last year to $32.7bn (£26.8bn).

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos suggested the launch of smart home assistant Amazon Echo in the US and UK, which is powered by artificial intelligence called Alexa, was a key part of the growth.

“Alexa may be Amazon’s most loved invention yet - literally - with over 250,000 marriage proposals from customers and counting,” he said.

“And she’s just getting better. Because Alexa’s brain is in the cloud, we can easily and continuously add to her capabilities and make her more useful - wait until you see some of the surprises the team is working on now.”

Twitter reported that it made a net loss of $102m (£83m) in the three months to the end of September, also announcing that it will be cutting more than 300 jobs globally as part of a shake-up of the business. Later the social media giant also revealed it was to discontinue video-sharing service Vine “in the coming months”.

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