Sat, Apr 20, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Microsoft profit increases


US technology giant Microsoft on Thursday reported a 19 percent year-on-year increase in profit despite contending with the fast-declining PC market.

Microsoft said profits came in at US$6.06 billion for the quarter ending March 31, on revenues of US$20.49 billion. That was up from US$5.11 billion in profits on revenues of US$17.41 billion in the year-earlier period.

The company’s earnings per share came in at US$0.72 per share — above the US$0.68 per share forecast by analysts.

Revenues were higher for Microsoft’s online services division, as well as its server and tools, and entertainment and devices units. Microsoft’s Windows system has been a defining element of PC systems and the Windows division reported a 23 percent increase in revenues compared with last year.

However, Microsoft said the division’s revenues in the recent quarter of US$5.70 billion was essentially flat when compared with the previous quarter, and attributed that revenue trend to the “evolving device market.”

Microsoft has come under scrutiny in recent weeks after industry reports showed a steep decline in personal computer sales, on account of the rise of tablets and smartphones.

Microsoft chief financial officer Peter Klein said the company is working to beef up its exposure to the growing markets.

“Consumers and businesses are increasingly shifting their focus to touch and mobility, and as a result they want touch-enabled computing devices that are ultra thin, lightweight and have long battery life,” Klein said. “Windows is transforming to the new era of computing.”

Microsoft also announced that Klein would leave the company after the current fiscal year, with a new CFO to be named from its finance leadership team in the coming weeks.

Thursday’s results pushed Microsoft shares 2.8 percent higher in after-hours trading.

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