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With all the hubbub about Larry Page taking over as CEO of Google, it was easy to miss the stellar fourth-quarter financial results the company reported on Thursday.

Net income for the quarter that ended on December 31 rose nine per cent to $2.54bn, or $7.81 a share, from $1.97bn, or $6.13, during the year-ago quarter. Revenue grew a whopping 26 per cent, to $8.44bn, from $6.67bn.

Google-owned sites generated 67 per cent of the quarter's sales, while partner sites were responsible for 30 percent of revenue. Revenue from outside the US was 52 per cent of revenue, with the UK accounting for 10 percent, or $878m.

Aggregate paid clicks, which relate to ads viewed on partner and Google-owned sites, grew by 18 per cent year-over-year and 11 per cent from the previous period. The average cost-per-click grew about five percent from last year and about four per cent from the third quarter.

For all of 2010, Google's net income increased 30 per cent to $8.51bn from $6.52bn, and revenue grew 24 per cent to $29.32bn, from $23.65bn.

Google shares gained $12.03, or 1.95 per cent, in after-hours trading following release of the results. ®

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