Google to hire 1,000 staff in European expansion

Google is planning to increase its European workforce by a fifth in the coming months, as it extends the amount of engineering done out of its offices in the UK and the rest of Europe.

The chief executive, Eric Schmidt, told a technology conference in Munich that the company would hire 1,000 employees after posting strong financial results from the region, and identifying opportunities to expand.

"We looked at this year and in particular our prospects for growth in Europe and, as a result, we have decided to make some pretty significant investments," he said.

Google has received more criticism and legal pushback over its privacy policies in continental Europe than in most of its other territories, but still recorded strong growth. Overseas revenues continue to grow in line with those in the US, and Google overall reported a 28 per cent sales increase in its most recent quarter. It makes profits of $1m (£630,000) every hour.

Of its current 5,000 European workers, 1,000 are in the UK, where it has a hub for developing mobile phone software. Its Android operating system is quickly becoming a rival system to Apple's iPhone. New European engineers will also work on Google's Chrome web browser.

Almost half of the new staff will be in the sales department. Google makes money selling the adverts that appear next to its search results and on other websites.