Hardware sales keep Google Australia growing in 2018

Advertising giant saw its ad sales in Australia fall, while its Pixel, Home, and Chromecast devices picked up the slack.

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Google has hardware sales in Australia to thank for its revenue growing during the year to December 31, 2018, the company's filings with ASIC reveal.

While advertising revenue contracted by AU$60 million to AU$561 million for the year, hardware sales climbed by AU$80 million to AU$216 million, and revenue from research conducted in Australia chipped in an extra AU$25 million compared to last year to post AU$291 million in revenue.

Taken together, Google Australia collected AU$1 billion in revenue, an increase of AU$48 million for 2018. Google Australia's profit before tax was AU$156 million, compared to AU$148 million a year ago, and the company paid AU$3 million more in income tax by handing over AU$26.5 million.

After-tax profit for the company was AU$129 million, an increase of AU$4 million.

Google described the principal activity of its Australian outpost to be the marketing and selling of ads, as well as management technology, and support for ad sales.

With the Australian arm reselling Google ads booked in Singapore through Google Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, Google Australia had AU$4.2 billion in gross billings, compared to AU$3.5 billion last year, of which AU$3.7 billion worth was advertising and other reselling receipts.

Google Australia said it has 1425 employees, and spent AU$342 million on wages during the year, an increase of AU$44 million.

Earlier this week, Google Australia's ultimate parent company, Alphabet, reported its first quarter results, announcing revenue of $36.34 billion, up 17%.

Google contributed most of Alphabet's first quarter sales with $25.682 billion in revenue. Google's other revenues -- which include the company's enterprise cloud, software, and data management products -- were $5.45 billion.

The company's revenue was dragged down by a €1.49 billion antitrust fine levelled by the European Commission.

The commission said Google abused its market dominance by imposing a number of restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites which stopped Google's rivals from placing their search adverts on these websites.

The fine amounted to 1.29% of Google's turnover in 2018.

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