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Edinburgh&#39s financial services sector leading the way

Edinburgh&#39s financial services sector is making the Scottish capital the best performing city in the UK according to a study from Glasgow University.

The report says while traditional manufacturing sectors are suffering, financial services and electronics are growing faster in Scotland than in the UK as a whole. And this growth is limited to Edinburgh and its hinterlands. Glasgow, on the other hand is not enjoying the same growth.

Professor of urban economic development Ivan Turok says: “The chief reason is the extraordinary buoyancy of Edinburgh&#39s financial services sector, in which at least 2,000 jobs have been created this year.”

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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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