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Administration for Premier Network

Premier Network Group is going into administration amid claims from appointed reps that it owes them renewal commission and proc fees. PNG closed to new business on February 16.

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Orphan payouts halved

Aviva and policyholder advocate Clare Spottiswoode have renegotiated a reattribution deal for the firm’s inherited estate which will see payments to policyholders slashed in half.

Rob Clifford quits Virgin Money

Virgin Money’s UK managing director Rob Clifford has left the business due to the burden on his family life of travelling between the firm’s nationwide offices.

Apple: a stellar technology story

By Ali Unwin, head of technology sector research

Apple recently announced the highest-ever recorded quarterly net profit ($18bn), with the sale of 74.4 million iPhones helping the company deliver $74.6bn of revenue for the quarter ending December 2014. These sales were largely driven by strong demand for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Highlights included Chinese iPhone sales doubling year-on-year and unit growth of 44% in the US — supposedly a well-penetrated market. Apple ended the quarter with $178bn in cash on its balance sheet, having generated a staggering $30bn in free cash flow during the quarter.

At Neptune, we have been long-term believers in the Apple story, and continue to hold the stock in a number of our portfolios based on the company’s long-term growth prospects. This is predicated on our belief that Apple has proved thus far that it can — unusually for a consumer electronics company — maintain high margins for a sustained period of time, even as adoption of new technology slows down and competitors produce similar-specification products.

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