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Google Profits Soar in 2nd Quarter

Google Inc., the U.S.-based web search firm, announced last week its profits have more than doubled in the most recent quarter. The company has managed to avoid the seasonal slump that has hit its rivals, Yahoo and eBay.

Last week’s earnings figures significantly beat market expectations, and sent shares of Google up nearly two percent in after hours trading on Thursday. Google's revenue rose 77 percent to $2.46 billion, with its second-quarter net income up sharply to $721 million.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said, "I think this shows that the model is working -- that the structure, the innovation, and the focus that we have on our business, and especially on our end-users, is really delivering good financial returns for everyone."

Rival firm Yahoo posted second quarter profits this week as well, but those were modest and more in line with market expectations. Word that Yahoo had postponed a planned upgrade to an advertising system designed to compete with Google is believed to have contributed on Tuesday to Yahoo's biggest one-day percentage decline ever. By contrast, Google confirmed it plans to increase its investment in upgraded hardware and improved networks.

"Google is focused as being the innovator on the Internet, and end-users have a right to have products that scale, that work, that are simple and that work everywhere,” said the company’s CEO. “Google is building that platform. Google is building those solutions. We have a lot more coming."

One of the firm's latest initiatives, called Google Checkout, has caught on fast with online shoppers and sellers. It provides single source "log-in for purchase capability" by identifying secure places to shop within online search results.

"We are very happy with Google Checkout so far for our end users. The end users can now get their products even more quickly, and even more reliably, and Google checkout makes that happen that much faster," said Schmidt.

Google's current growth rates are now three-to-four times higher than those of its closest competitors. But industry analysts are debating when -- or even whether -- the current slow growth in the industry will affect Google as it has its rivals.