The software group Oracle has increased its revenues in the most recent quarter thanks to booming cloud services. In the three months to the end of February, sales rose 18 percent year-on-year to $12.4 billion, as SAP’s rival announced on Thursday after the US stock market closed.

According to Oracle, the cloud business with storage space and applications on the Internet saw a 45 percent increase in revenue to $4.1 billion. However, sharply increased operating expenses allowed net profit to drop by 18 percent to $1.9 billion. The share price initially fell by more than three percent in after-hours trading.