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Sales of investment funds fall in August

New retail sales of investment funds fell in August to £766m from
£867m in July but were still 39 per cent higher than at the same point
last year, according to the IMA.
The trade body&#39s monthly figures reveal that sales were up from
August 2002&#39s level of £549m although net Isa sales fell to £235m,
down from £279m in July and £268.4m at the same time last year.
The biggest surprise was that gross retail sales of UK All
Companies surpassed UK Corporate bonds as the top selling sector
in August &#45 the first time this has happened this year.

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Cable call to scrap the DTI

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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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