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"Bold Bets" Pay Off As Profits Soar: Microsoft

By Oonagh Reidy | Friday | 19/04/2013

"The bold bets" have paid off, says Microsoft boss as it posts higher profits, revenue

The software giant revenue rose 18% to $20.49 billion for the quarter ended March 31 - up $3bn from same time 2012.

The latest lift in profits, revenue was due to the giant deferring some of its revenue following the launch of the new Windows 8 OS, which analysts last week blamed for flagging PC sales, saying the touch and tile based OS has, to date, failed to win over the consumer.

Net profit was $6.06 billion up from $5.1bn, a year ago.

The revenue surge related to the upgrade offers from Windows 7 and Office, and pre-sales, Microsoft said. Windows Division soared 23%, posting revenue of $5.7 bn.

"The bold bets we made on cloud services are paying off as people increasingly choose Microsoft services including Office 365, Windows Azure, Xbox LIVE, and Skype," declared Steve Ballmer, CEO Microsoft.

"While there is still work to do, we are optimistic that the bets we've made on Windows devices position us well for the long-term."

Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division surged 56% (33% non-GAAP) which includes Xbox, Kinect also up, with Xbox membership swelling to 46m members worldwide - up almost 20%.

Online Services Division reported revenue of $832m - up 18%. Online ad revenue grew 22% driven by an increase in revenue per search on Bing engine.

However, the revenue gains were offset by the hefty fine handed down to Microsoft by European Commission of $733m.

Diluted earnings per share for the quarter $0.72 per share, compared to $0.60 a year ago.

Microsoft is revising operating expense guidance downward and estimates a range of $30.2 bn - $30.5 bn for the full year ending June 30, 2013.

One of Microsoft top execs CFO Peter Klein will leave the company at the end of June, after nearly four years in role and 11 years at the Redmond based giant.

Microsoft said it will be naming a new CFO from its current finance leadership team in the next several weeks.

"It has been a pleasure to work with Peter as CFO," Ballmer said.

"He's been a key member of my leadership team and a strategic advisor to me, and I wish him the very best." "I've had a great experience as CFO and overall in my time at Microsoft," Klein said. "

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