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Equity release market witnesses minimal growth in 2006

The equity release market continued to struggle to significantly grow in 2006.

Figures from Safe Home Income Plans released today reveal only a marginal three per cent increase in lifetime mortgage business last year from £1.05bn in 2005 to £1.08bn last year.

Home reversion business accounted for £73.5m of new business in 2006, up almost 35 per cent from 2005.

Drawdown plans also continued to witness a steady growth in 2006. During Q4 2006 £89.9m was taken from £202.9m committed new business. This compares to £14.2m taken from £31.3m of committed new business in Q4 2005

Ship chief executive Jon King says: “2006 has seen a substantial increase in the number of new equity release plans sold. Both home reversions and lifetime mortgages have been party to this increased interest and the number of customers keen to use flexible drawdown mortgages is highly encouraging.”

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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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