Cloud computing gains drive up profit for Microsoft

San Francisco (AFP) –


Microsoft reported Wednesday quarterly profits rose on the back of its thriving cloud computing business which has become a core focus for the US technology giant.

Profits rose 21 percent to $10.7 billion in the recently ended quarter as revenue increased 14 percent to $33.1 billion compared with the same period a year earlier.

"The world's leading companies are choosing our cloud to build their digital capability," said Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella.

Revenue from cloud services sold to businesses was up more than a third in the quarter to $11.6 billion, according to chief financial officer Amy Hood.

Meanwhile, revenue from career-centric social network LinkedIn was up 25 percent, Microsoft reported.

Microsoft shares were up marginally in after-market trades that followed release of the earnings figures.

Nadella has moved Microsoft to focus on cloud computing and other business services, helping the company's valuation grow to $1 trillion and draw even with rival Apple in terms of market value.