The cloud has begun to deliver for Microsoft, which has reported record revenues of US$69.9bn for the past year. In its fourth-quarter results, the software giant achieved record revenues of US$17.3bn, up 8pc on last year.
For the fourth quarter, Microsoft reported a US$5.8bn profit and an operating profit of US$6.1bn.
For the full year 2010/2011, Microsoft’s revenues amounted to almost US$70bn, yielding a net profit of US$23.1bn and an operating profit of US$27.1bn.
Looking ahead to 2012, Microsoft says its cloud investments and products like Office 365, Windows Azure and entertainment platforms like Xbox Kinect will enable it to grow. It reaffirmed fiscal 2012 operating expense guidance of 3pc to 5pc growth from 2011, or US$28.0bn to US$28.6bn.
“Throughout fiscal 2011, we delivered to market a strong line-up of products and services which translated into double-digit revenue growth, and operating margin expansion,” said Peter Klein, chief financial officer at Microsoft.
“Our platform and cloud investments position us for long-term growth,” Klein said.
Software and infrastructure
Microsoft Business Division revenue for the fourth quarter grew 7pc and 16pc for the full year. Office 2010 continues to be the fastest-selling version of Microsoft Office in history, with more than 100m licences sold. In June, Microsoft released Office 365 with familiar Microsoft Office collaboration and productivity tools delivered through the cloud.
Server & Tools revenue grew 12pc for the fourth quarter, the fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, and grew 11pc for the full year. Windows Server, System Center and SQL Server continued to drive revenue growth in the segment.
Windows and Windows Live Division revenue declined 1pc for the fourth quarter and revenue for the full year decreased 2pc. Excluding the impact of the prior year Windows 7 launch and revenue deferral, we estimate full-year revenue growth was in line with PC market growth of 2pc to 4pc.
Windows 7 has sold more than 400m licences and business deployments continue to accelerate.
During the quarter, Microsoft unveiled a preview of the next version of Windows, code named Windows 8, featuring a new user interface and application experience.
Online and gaming
Online Services Division revenue grew 17pc for the fourth quarter and 15pc for the full year, primarily driven by increases in search revenue. Bing’s US search share increased 340 basis points year-over-year to 14.4pc this quarter. Microsoft also released new features that incorporate the Facebook social graph to help users make better decisions based on their social connections.
Entertainment & Devices Division revenue grew 30pc for the fourth quarter and 45pc for the full year, due to the ongoing momentum of the console, Kinect and Xbox Live. Xbox 360 has been the top-selling game console in the US over the past 12 months. At E3 in June, Microsoft highlighted its upcoming game line-up, Xbox Live content partnerships and enhanced content discovery using Bing and Kinect.
“A strong year of double-digit increases in revenue and earnings is a real credit to all of our Microsoft employees and partners around the world,” said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft.
“We continue to see strong business demand across all of our products, from small businesses all the way up to the largest global enterprises.
“Our move to cloud services continues with the release and momentum of Office 365 and growth in Windows Azure. We’re providing our customers seamless and powerful ways to move to the cloud, and we are well positioned for the coming year,” Turner added.