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Schroders boosts underlying group profits

Schroders reported group profits before tax of 132.3m for the six months to June 30, up from 123.5m last time.

Asset management profits before tax were down slightly to 96.8m compared to 99.8m last year although asset management revenue increased by 21 per cent to 377.3m. The company says the increase was driven by higher margins and overall market levels.

Net retail inflows were up from 1.6bn to 2.3bn over the same period with emerging market products and the absolute return strategic bond contributing strongly to the increase.

The groups funds under management remained stable over the same period at 122.3bn compared to 122.5bn last time.

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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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