Google poised to overtake Apple as world's most valuable firm

Red Letter Day for Google's Alphabet
Red Letter Day for Google's Alphabet

Google will discover if it has surpassed Apple as the most valuable company in the world when the stock markets reopen.

The latest round of financial results on Monday night saw the internet company report an 18% increase in revenue over the last year, as well as profits of more than £3 billion.

The news sent share prices up by 8% in after-hours trading, enough to take the company past Apple's 534 billion US dollar (£370 billion) market valuation, but only when trading begins again on Tuesday will Google have confirmation of its position.

Google's finance chief Ruth Porat hailed the "vibrancy of the business" during the announcement, with video sharing site YouTube, as well as the widely used Google search engine, named as the core of the company's growth.

Though Apple reported record profits in its own financial results last week, the California-based firm predicted iPhone sales would decline for the first time in the device's history in the next quarter.

Google chief Sundar Pichai also announced that email service Gmail has surpassed one billion users for the first time.

However, there was no mention of the company's tax deal with the Treasury, with the £130m million sum Google has agreed to pay back in tax and interest having been criticised in some quarters.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid, in an interview with the BBC, said that the settlement "wasn't a glorious moment."

The company will also give evidence to the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee on countering extremism on Tuesday alongside social network Facebook, which last week posted its own financial results, which includes a revenue rise of more than 40% to £12.5 billion.