Alphabet, the parent company of Google, posted significantly higher revenues in the last quarter of 2018. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, this increased by 22 percent to $39.3 billion. In the experimental division, the loss nearly doubled.
Alphabet’s quarterly figures show that the turnover of the experimental division ‘other bets’ rose from 131 to 154 million dollars, but this is also offset by a significantly higher loss. In the fourth quarter of 2017, that loss was still $ 748 million and increased to $ 1.3 billion in the past quarter. Incidentally, this is still significantly less than the loss of nearly $3.6 billion attributable to ‘other bets’ in the last quarter of 2015.
The ‘other bets’ division includes business units such as the medical company Verily, internet balloon company Loon and Waymo, the company that focuses on technology for autonomous driving. During a verbal explanation of the quarterly figures, Ruth Porat, the CTO of Google, indicated that other bets offered a considerably higher compensation for employees and executives of this business unit. The loss incurred is also likely an indication that Alphabet continues to invest significant amounts in research and experimental technology.
The company’s major growth engine is still the Google business, which revolves around online advertising revenue from various Google services such as YouTube and Search. Advertising revenue increased from $27.2 billion to $32.6 billion, which is relatively similar to previous quarters.
The division called ‘other revenues’, which includes, for example, cloud services and hardware sales, remains a fast-growing part according to the company: turnover increased from almost 5 billion dollars to 6.5 billion dollars. CEO Sundar Pichai said the number of Google Cloud platforms more than doubled last year, writes CNBC, among others.
Alphabet as a whole recorded an operating profit of $8.2 billion, compared to $7.7 billion a year earlier in the same quarter. For the whole of 2018, revenue amounted to $136.8 billion, an increase of 23 percent compared to 2017.