Alphabet posts Q1 earnings of $9.4bn

Google’s parent company Alphabet posted better-than-expected Q1 earnings of $9.4bn (£6.7bn) last night, a 73 per cent year-on-year increase. Revenues were 26 per cent up at $31.1bn. Google’s headcount has increased by 11 per cent over the past 12 months to 85,050.

The strong figures come at a time when Google and other tech giants have been under intense scrutiny over their data privacy practices. Google has also come under fire for failings on its YouTube platform. Earlier this month, a coalition of more than 20 advocacy, consumer and privacy groups filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), accusing YouTube of improperly collecting the personal data of young children, and just last week, a CNN investigation found that ads from brands including Adidas, Amazon, Netflix and Under Armour have been appearing on YouTube videos promoting white nationalists, Nazis, paedophilia, conspiracy theories, and North Korean propaganda, despite YouTube’s supposed “stricter policies” and “better controls”.

Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet and Google, said: “Our ongoing strong revenue growth reflects our momentum globally, up 26% versus the first quarter of 2017 and 23% on a constant currency basis to $31.1bn. We have a clear set of exciting opportunities ahead, and our strong growth enables us to invest in them with confidence.”