Software giant Microsoft has put forward shiny quarterly figures. The main business is still the PC division. But especially the shops with office software and the cloud are buzzing.
In the late Nineties, Microsoft was the world’s most valuable company, but in the mid-2000s came the crash. When Apple unveiled the iPhone in January 2007, ex-Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer was still poking fun at the pastless phone. After that, laughter got stuck in his throat: Under his leadership, Microsoft missed the smartphone trend, burned billions with the acquisition of Nokia and developed one of the most unpopular operating systems of all time with Windows 8. The group seemed haphazard and hobbled behind the competition.
Under the new CEO Satya Nadella, the Windows manufacturer succeeded in reversal the trend: The company shifted its focus to other divisions, while at the same time presenting itself as an innovator with new products. And sales continue to grow: Microsoft delivered bright quarterly figures on Wednesday. Revenue climbed 19 percent to $29.1 billion, with profit up a third year-on-year to 8.8 billion.
Cloud becomes a mainstay
The majority of sales are still generated by the classic PC division with the Windows business. Here, revenue rose 15 percent to $10.7 billion. As a result, the former core business accounts for just over a third of revenue. The gaming division with the Xbox game console pulled 44 percent to 2.8 billion. The Surface division saw a 14 per cent rise to 1.2 billion thanks to the new Surface Go. The online career portal LinkedIn, which was acquired at the end of 2016, increased revenues by 33 percent.
The growth engine, however, is the lucrative cloud business. The Azure platform, which companies use to manage their websites, apps and data, has been seeing high sales jumps for years. This time it went up 76 percent. With Azure, Microsoft competes primarily with Amazon’s leader, AWS (Amazon Web Services), and Google’s cloud services. Overall, the Intelligent Cloud division rose 24 percent to $8.6 billion. If growth remains similarly rapid, Microsoft is likely to earn more from its cloud services than the classic PC division over the next few years.
The office software “Office 365 ” is also selling magnificently: It increased by 36 percent in the past quarter.
Microsoft stock rises
CEO Satya Nadella spoke of a “great start to the 2019 financial year .” At Microsoft, the fiscal year is set for the calendar year. The strong results were the result of innovation and the trust customers have in the group, Nadella said. The figures clearly exceeded analysts ‘ expectations, which also went down well with investors. The stock turned into the plus on an over-the-counter rate of around three per cent. Since the beginning of the year, the rate has increased by just under a fifth.