MICROSOFT HAS REPORTED its fourth quarter earnings and has beat analysts' estimate thanks to strong cloud growth.
For Q4, Microsoft posted revenues of $23.3bn (around £17.9bn) a 13 per cent increase over last year, and it doubled its profits to $6.5bn (£4.9bn).
Microsoft's cloud division was credited for the bumper quarter, with the firm's Intelligent Cloud posting revenues of $7.4bn, an 11 per cent increase year-on-year. Within Intelligent Cloud, Microsoft boasted that server products and cloud services revenue increased 15 per cent, driven by Azure revenue growth of 97 per cent.
"Innovation across our cloud platforms drove strong results this quarter," said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer at Microsoft.
"Customers are looking to Microsoft and our thriving partner ecosystem to accelerate their own digital transformations and to unlock new opportunity in this era of intelligent cloud and intelligent edge."
The firm also boasted of a 43 per cent increase in Office commercial revenue thanks to soaring Office 365 subscriptions, while the firm's Productivity and Business Processes group saw revenue grow by 21 percent to $8.45bn, with LinkedIn kicking in more than $1bn in revenue for the first time.
Gaming revenue was also up 3 per cent in Q4, which Microsoft has credited to strength in Xbox software and services that offset lower hardware revenue.
Elsewhere, thing's ain't quite so rosy for the firm. Microsoft's Surface revenue slumped 2 per cent to $948m in Q4, which the firm has attributed to "product lifecycle transitions." However, this is an improvement on the last quarter when Surface revenues dived by 26 per cent, and Microsoft has pointed out that its new Surface Laptop and Surface Pro have only been available since mid-June.
Unsurprisingly, Microsoft's largely-defunct Windows Phone division didn't do much to prop up its Q4 earnings. In a note during its earnings report, Microsoft said that the "immaterial" business had declined to $361m in revenues from a year ago. µ
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