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Google doubles profits

Strong UK business boosts coffers

Google's revenue grew by 70 percent and earnings almost doubled in its third quarter, as the company continued cashing in on its search-engine services through online adverts.

Google generated revenue of $2.69bn (about £1.4bn), compared with $1.58bn (£840m) in Q3 last year. Subtracting the commissions it pays to websites that carry its ads, Google had revenue of $1.87bn (£991m).

Meanwhile, net income came in at $733.4m (£390m), up from $381.2m (£203m).

"We had an excellent quarter in all respects, especially internationally," Eric Schmidt, Google's chief executive officer, said during a conference call. Business was particularly strong in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Canada, Australia, India and Brazil, executives said.

Schmidt said Google's revenue will continue to come from advertising, and search advertising in particular "for many, many years". However, he acknowledged Google must develop other sources of revenue, and pointed at some nascent ones that hold much promise, such as the company's enterprise unit, which sells search appliances to businesses. He also cited the new Google Checkout online transactions service as one that has "tremendous revenue potential".

Asked about potential copyright violation liabilities Google may inherit when it closes its acquisition of video-sharing site YouTube, Schmidt said Google strictly abides by copyright laws and its approach to YouTube will be no exception. The deal is expected to close this quarter.

He also said that Google expects to sign a final contract very soon with News Corp's MySpace for the advertising deal they announced in August. The companies have been operating so far under a "binding letter of agreement" for that deal, which calls for Google to be the exclusive provider of search functionality and search advertising to MySpace and other News Corp websites.

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