Google posts profit hike but forex rates hit revenues

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Internet giant reports fourth quarter numbers; cost-per-click drops.

Google generated a net profit of $4.76 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, an increase of 40% on the previous year, but foreign exchange rate changes hit its revenue.

The Internet giant turned over $18.1 billion in the three months to the end of December, up 15%. However, its revenue figure would have been $541 million higher had exchange rates remained constant, it said in a statement on Thursday.

“Google’s full year revenue for 2014 was $66 billion, up 19% year on year,” said Google chief financial officer Patrick Pichette.

He added that the firm’s Q4 revenue performance came “despite strong currency headwinds”.

Google generated the same proportion of revenues from international markets as it did in the year-ago quarter. The firm brought in $10.23 billion from outside the U.S., or 56% of the total.

At $16.1 billion, advertising revenues accounted for 89% of Google’s total top line, having grown by more than $2 billion on Q4 2013.

The company said paid clicks grew by approximately 14%, but its average cost per click fell by 3%.