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Cloud helps push up Microsoft's annual sales by almost a fifth

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Microsoft has posted an 18% annual increase in revenue for the year and a 32% jump in operating profits.

For the year ended 30 June 2021, sales were $168.1 billion and operating income was $69.9 billion.

Net income was $61.3 billion, an increase of 38%.

At the same time, revenue for the fourth quarter was $46.2 billion - up 21% - and operating income went up 42% to $19.1 billion.

On the cloud side of things, revenue in the company's Intelligent Cloud segment was $17.4 billion for the quarter, which was an increase of 30%.

Of this, server products and cloud services revenue increased 34% - driven by Azure revenue growth of 51%.

Satya Nadella, chairman and chief executive officer of Microsoft, said: “Our results show that when we execute well and meet customers’ needs in differentiated ways in large and growing markets we generate growth, as we’ve seen in our commercial cloud.”

Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Microsoft, said Microsoft’s commercial cloud revenue in the fourth quarter grew 36% year-over-year to $19.5 billion.

As Microsoft seeks to gain ground on Amazon Web Services in the cloud market, number three cloud service provider Google continues to cut its losses.

For its second quarter, Google Cloud (which includes Google Cloud Platform and Google Workspace) shrank its losses to $591 million from the $1.4 billion it lost in Q2 last year.

The continuing losses are mainly down to Google spending big on expanding its global cloud services footprint through new data centres and additional connectivity links.

Google Cloud’s quarterly revenue increased 54% to $4.6 billion.