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YouTube helps Google to mammoth profits

Revenue up 51 percent on last year

YouTube, the online video site that Google bought in 2006, continues to see strong growth in the US and around the world. As a consequence, Google was this week able to post fourth-quarter revenue up 51 percent over the same period the year before.

Google reported revenue of $4.83bn for the quarter ending December 31 using generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Net income for the period was $1.21bn, compared to $1.01bn in the third quarter of 2007.

With earnings per share of $4.43, Google just missed analyst consensus of $4.44 on a non-GAAP basis, as polled by First Call.

Google continues to increase revenue from outside the US, reporting that 48 percent of total revenue in the quarter came from international markets. That's up from 44 percent in the same period a year earlier but the same as the third quarter 2007.

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"The international market is still very nascent, with tremendous potential with what we can do," said Eric Schmidt, CEO and chairman of Google, during a conference call to discuss the earnings.

YouTube, the online video site that Google bought in 2006, continues to see strong growth in the US and around the world, executives said. It is now available in 17 languages, including eight that were added last year.

In conjunction with CNN, YouTube recently offered video of a presidential candidate debate. Almost as many people watched the video on YouTube as on CNN, said Sergey Brin, cofounder and president of technology for Google.

"We consider this a great milestone," he said. Google hopes to work on similar partnerships to help grow the YouTube audience in the future, he said.

Despite several bright spots, Google also hit a speed bump during the quarter. "We're still learning how to monetize social networking," said George Reyes, Google's chief financial officer.

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