Microsoft Corp on Tuesday said its profit last quarter continued to soar as the COVID-19 pandemic boosted a trend toward business being taken care of in the Internet cloud.
The US technology company’s profit rose to US$13.9 billion, up 30 percent from the same quarter last year, earnings figures showed.
Revenue in the quarter climbed 12 percent to US$37.2 billion.
“Demand for our cloud offerings drove a strong start to the fiscal year,” Microsoft chief financial officer Amy Hood said.
Microsoft took in US$15.2 billion in revenue from cloud computing offerings for businesses, up 31 percent from the same period last year, Hood said.
Demand for software, services and data storage hosted online at data centers that had been steadily growing for years has rocketed during the pandemic, as shopping, learning and work are tended to online.
Businesses are under pressure to engage customers online or lose them, Microsoft said.
“The next decade of economic performance for every business will be defined by the speed of their digital transformation,” Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said.
Revenue was also up from the company’s Office suite of software, the LinkedIn career-centric social network and the Xbox video game unit.
The Microsoft Surface line of laptop computers also had a “blowout” quarter, with revenue up 37 percent, Moor Insights and Strategy analyst Patrick Moorhead said.
“Enterprises are transitioning from COVID-19 triage to starting to renew their digital transformation plans with a focus on hybrid work,” Moorhead said, referring to employees staying connected to offices, while not necessarily being there to get work done.
“Microsoft is taking advantage of this phenomenon,” Moorhead added.
The shift to cloud applications and work-from-home appears to be “here to stay,” with Microsoft positioned to benefit with its Azure computing platform and Office 365 online software, Wedbush Securities Inc analyst Dan Ives said.
Microsoft forecast revenue this quarter between US$39.5 billion and US$40.4 billion.
The Redmond, Washington-based company also revealed that revenue from search advertising dropped last quarter in a potentially bad sign for Google.
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