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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 21:31 GMT 22:31 UK
Google's quarterly profits soar
Google stand at a technology fair
Google says it has had an 'exceptional' quarter
Internet search firm Google has said first-quarter profit rose 60% to $592m (333m), from $372m a year ago.

Revenue was up 79% to $2.25bn, ahead of analysts' forecasts, as the firm showed it was responding to the challenge from Microsoft and Yahoo.

Google, listed on the stock market in August 2004, saw its shares rise by 6% after the ball trading in New York.

Meanwhile an Arkansas judge approved a preliminary settlement of $90m between Google and disgruntled advertisers.

They had claimed the search provider overcharged them for their adverts, and that they were billed for false customer leads.

Google has to pay up to $60m in future advertising credits, and up to $30m is available to pay lawyers for those making claims against Google.

"We are pleased that we were able to reach an agreement and are pleased the judge has granted preliminary approval," Google's lawyer Daralyn Durie said.

Commenting on the results figures, Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said the California-based company had an "exceptional quarter with strong growth and profitability".

Analyst Martin Pykkonen of Hoefer and Arnett said: "They're still spending pretty heftily on marketing expenses but strategically it's the right thing to do and the underlying reason why revenue growth was so strong."

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