Monday, 6 Dec 2021

Microsoft sees sales boom as companies move to the cloud

Microsoft has surpassed estimates for its quarterly earnings, driven by soaring demand for its cloud computing products as businesses change the way in which employees work.

The company saw revenue rise to $45.32bn (£32.92bn) in the three months to September 30, up by 22% from $37.15 billion a year earlier.

It is the company’s fastest rate of growth since 2018 – and the results have placed Microsoft’s share price on track to hit a record high.

Microsoft also reported profits of $20.5bn (£14.89bn) in net income, growing 48% year-on-year, as cloud sales jumped by almost $4bn (£2.91bn) from a year ago.

As more companies have adopted hybrid working models since the start of the pandemic, cloud software providers have seen sales soar.

Microsoft said Azure and its other cloud services had grown by 50% since last year.

The company has weathered a series of embarrassing headlines since May, when it was revealed that the company’s founder Bill Gates had conducted an affair with an employee in 2000, and then subsequently sent inappropriate emails to another member of Microsoft’s staff in 2007.

Microsoft executives warned him to stop sending flirtatious emails the following year, the company has confirmed.

Mr Gates’s ties to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein have also been heavily scrutinised since 2019, while the billionaire officially divorced from his wife of 27 years in August.

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