Google weathers recession with 7% profit rise

Google's net profit grew 7.7% year-on-year to $1.42 billion in Q1, even though the company is feeling the pinch of the global economic crisis.

Revenue reached $5.51 billion, up 6% year-on-year but down 3% sequentially. Revenue from outside the united states reached $2.88 billion - 52% of total revenues, compared to 51% a year ago.

If exchange rates had remained constant between Q1 2008 and Q1 2009, Google would have taken in over $429 million more revenue this quarter, Google said.

"Google had a good quarter given the depth of the recession," Google CEO Eric Schmidt said.  "These results underline both the resilience of our business model and the ongoing potential of the web as users and advertisers shift online."

Schmidt yesterday told  investors that Google was "absolutely feeling the impact" of the economic crisis, the Wall Street Journal said, but added the company would remain focused on long-term growth.

Google's Q1 capex was $263 million. By the end of the quarter, its free cash flow was $1.99 billion and its cash position was $17.8 billion.

Meanwhile, research firm comScore said  Google increased its dominance of the US search market in March, with its market share growing 0.4 points to 63.7%.