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Google parent Alphabet reports US$3b loss on tax provision

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Google parent company Alphabet on Thursday reported a quarterly loss of US$3 billion as it set aside US$11 billion for taxes on its overseas profits being brought back to the United States.

[SAN FRANCISCO] Google parent company Alphabet on Thursday reported a quarterly loss of US$3 billion as it set aside US$11 billion for taxes on its overseas profits being brought back to the United States.

The California tech giant said revenues in the last three months of 2017 rose 24 per cent from a year ago to US$32.3 billion and cited "great growth" for the company.

Shares in Alphabet slid 2.4 per cent to US$1,139.05 in after-hours trade, amid concerns over profits below expectations.

Google remained the key driver of revenue and profit for the company, which has reorganised into new divisions for self-driving vehicles, life sciences and other so-called "moonshot" projects.

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The Google segment accounted for US$31.9 billion in revenue and delivered an operating profit of US$8.8 billion.

Excluding the tax provision - following the lead of other multinationals taking advantage of a favorable rate to repatriate earnings - Alphabet would have posted a profit of US$6.8 billion.

"Our business is driving great growth, with 2017 revenues of US$110.9 billion, up 23 per cent year on year, and fourth quarter revenues of US$32.3 billion, up 24 per cent year on year," chief financial officer Ruth Porat said.

"Our full year operating income growth continues to underscore our core strength, and on top of this, we continue to make substantial investments for the long-term in exciting new businesses."

Alphabet's "other bets" category delivered revenue of US$409 million, up from US$262 million a year earlier. The loss from those projects narrowed to US$916 million from US$1.1 billion.

AFP

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