Google posted solid growth in its revenue and profit during 2008's first quarter and exceeded Wall Street expectations in both categories, amid widespread concern that the search engine giant's results would be weak.

Google generated revenue of $5.19bn for the quarter that ended March 31, up 42 per cent compared with 2007's first quarter. The company had net income of $1.31 billion.

The Google ability to continue generating solid revenue and profits from its search advertising business came under scrutiny in recent months, as several independent studies suggested that people were clicking less than expected on its pay-per-click ads and that rival Yahoo is stealing market share. However, the first quarter results at first glance don't seem to indicate any major breakdown in the Google revenue-and-profit making machine.

The first quarter results include the operations of DoubleClick starting on the date when the acquisition closed, March 11, until the quarter's end, but their impact was immaterial to revenue and "only slightly dilutive" to net income and earnings per share, Google said.

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