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Lloyds profits fall as it takes £660m hit on TSB sale

Lloyds Banking Group has reported an 11 per cent fall in pre-tax profit for the first quarter of the year, after making a £660m loss on the sale of TSB. The bank’s Q1 results, published today, show it made a £1.2bn profit in the first three months of the year, down from £1.4bn in the […]

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Apfa writes to Govt over ‘unjustifiable’ hike in adviser fees

Apfa has written to the major political parties to urge a rethink of what it terms an “unjustifiable” 10 per cent increase in advisers’ FCA fees. In a paper on proposed fees published in March, the FCA said A13 advisers will pay £74.9m in 2015/16, up by 10 per cent from £68m in 2014/15. The […]

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Better together? Advisers start to build ‘consumer coalition’

Industry bodies are looking to create a “coalition” with consumer groups to help strengthen the voice of the advice profession and improve trust in the sector. The Personal Finance Society has stepped up its consumer profile with the launch of a money guidance website, while ex-IFA Association director general Garry Heath plans to work closely […]

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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