Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Despite the corona crisis: tech companies are making billions in profits

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Amazon, Apple, Facebook Google
Tech corporations with billions in profits – corona crisis? Was there something?

One of the big winners in the corona crisis: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

© mandel Ngan / AFP

In an unusual constellation, four tech heavyweights presented their quarterly figures in one day. Everyone exceeded expectations – even if Google experienced the first drop in sales.

The business of the big tech groups shows enormous resilience in the corona crisis. Amazon benefited massively from the online shopping boom in the past quarter, Apple surprised with a plus in the iPhone business. Online advertising is less rosy: Google recorded a drop in sales for the first time and Facebook grew significantly slower than usual. But everyone continued to make billions in profits and exceeded market expectations.

Amazon clearly stands out as the winner of the crisis from the other tech heavyweights. In the second quarter, sales soared 40 percent year-over-year to $ 88.9 billion, as the world’s largest online retailer announced on Thursday after the US market closed. At $ 5.2 billion, the profit was roughly twice as high as a year earlier – even though Amazon spent $ 4 billion on corona measures such as protective equipment, cleaning and awards in the quarter.

In addition to online trading, the cloud platform AWS also remained a lucrative business for Amazon – among other things because the increased number of home workers is increasing demand.

Facebook grows despite boycott

At Apple, iPhone sales rose 1.7 percent year over year to $ 26.4 billion. Analysts had only expected revenues of $ 21 billion. According to calculations by the analysis company IDC, Apple also managed to increase iPhone sales by a good 11 percent – while the smartphone market overall dropped by 16 percent. The new edition of the cheaper iPhone SE model played an important role.

Apple’s consolidated sales rose eleven percent to $ 59.7 billion last quarter – a record for the June quarter. Profits grew twelve percent to $ 11.25 billion.

In the midst of the Corona crisis and a boycott of advertising customers in protest against hate speech on the platform, Facebook’s business is growing significantly more slowly than before. Last quarter, revenue increased 11 percent to $ 18.8 billion. There was similar growth in the first weeks of July. Before the crisis, growth rates of over 20 percent were the order of the day in Facebook’s business.

Facebook earns its money almost exclusively from advertising – and in the Corona crisis, many small businesses in particular are placing fewer ads. In July, more than 1,000 advertisers – including heavyweights like Coca-Cola and the consumer goods giant Unilever – followed the boycott calls by civil rights groups and temporarily stopped advertisements on the world’s largest online network.

At the same time, the number of users on Facebook continues to grow rapidly. Another 100 million monthly active users were added in the past quarter – now there are a total of 2.6 billion. 3.14 billion users accessed at least one Facebook product – the group also includes the Instagram photo platform and the WhatsApp chat service. That was an increase of 150 million within three months.

Watch the video: iOS 14 – these are the most exciting new features for the iPhone. Apple is presenting its software plans for the iPhone, iPad and Co. at the WWDC developer trade fair. Five exciting announcements at a glance: Apple’s upcoming iOS 14 operating system will appear for all iPhones with iOS 13, including the approximately five-year-old iPhone 6s. With supported vehicle models, the iPhone can be used as a car key in the future, and BMW is also starting new: the so-called “App Clips”. The stickers should be physically stuck on in shops or restaurants. With a tap on the sticker, services such as a menu or a workshop appointment can be opened without having to install an appropriate app, and Siri is also to be further optimized. The intelligent assistant should know about 20 times more facts in the future without having to do an internet search. It remains to be seen whether the update will also improve the German version: Apple wants to make better use of the screen size on the iPad through optimized menus and a revised search. In addition, Apple’s tablet gets all iOS 14 functions missed.

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Google’s profit plummeted

Meanwhile, Google’s parent company Alphabet was hit by higher costs and falling advertising revenue. Profits plummeted from $ 9.95 billion to $ 6.96 billion year on year. Alphabet’s money machine – Google’s advertising business – suffered in the crisis. For the first time in the company’s 22-year history, revenue declined eight percent to $ 29.9 billion. Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat, however, emphasized that the advertising business had recovered at the end of the quarter.

The four technology giants released their numbers the day after a US House of Representatives hearing at which MPs accused companies of abuse of market dominance and promised tougher regulation.

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