The digital business week

30 Apr 2012

A New York Apple store

A digest of the top business and technology news stories from the past week.

Apple Q2 profits approach US$12bn – sells 35m iPhones, 12m iPads

There’s rude health and then there’s even ruder health – tech behemoth Apple has reported incredible revenues of US$39.2bn for its second quarter, including profits of US$11.6bn driven by the sale of 35m iPhones and 12m iPad devices.

The tech giant once again showed how strong it is performing, with US$14bn in cash flow emerging from operations, according to CFO Peter Oppenheimer.

More specifically, during the second quarter, Apple sold 35.1m iPhones in the quarter, representing 88pc unit growth over the year-ago quarter.

Apple sold 11.8m iPads during the quarter, a 151pc unit increase over the year-ago quarter.

Apple sold 4m Macs during the quarter, a 7pc unit increase over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 7.7m iPods, a 15pc unit decline from the year-ago quarter.

Facebook IPO could be delayed until June

Facebook’s initial public offering (IPO) could be delayed until mid-June or late June, after reports suggested its recent acquisitions have pushed back preparations for the share sale.

CNBC reports Facebook’s roadshow launch was originally planned to begin on 7 May before going public on 17 May.

However, its sources suggest Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been more focused on running the business, on its recent US$1bn Instagram acquisition and on purchasing US$550m patents from Microsoft. As a result, extra financial disclosures are needed for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which may lead to more questions from the commission. As a result, preparations for the IPO have been reportedly delayed.

This could mean Facebook will launch its roadshow between the middle of or the end of May, aiming to go public in the middle of or the end of June.

Two Peats stores to re-open in Dublin

Dublin electronics store Peats will reopen a store on Parnell Street and one in Rathmines, the company has announced. The retailer avoided being closed down after re-evaluating its options and said it received support from its customers and suppliers.

In a statement on its website, Peats said it presented a petition before Mr Justice Charleton at the High Court in Dublin last week for the appointment of Neil Hughes of Hughes Blake Chartered Accountants as examiner for the business.

Last month, Peats said it would go into liquidation, closing 11 of its stores and cutting 75 jobs.

This was due to the impacts of recession, high rent costs and online competitors affecting high-street retailing, meaning the stores could not continue trading.

Peats re-opened its flagship store on Parnell Street and its website on 28 April. The retailer reopened its Rathmines store last week. It rehired 25 of its former staff.

Carlow company to power up London Olympics

Whitelite Automation, an engineering firm based in Carlow, has secured a multimillion euro contract to keep the London Olympics powered up via its UPS modules.

According to the Carlow Nationalist, a team of 25 people at Whitelite have been working on the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) modules for the past 12 months. The overall contract is reportedly worth €2m.

The units Whitelite has pioneered will kick into action to keep electricity running in the event of any power failures during the London Olympics, which will run from 27 July until 12 August.

The first unit batch were shipped to London on 16 March.

Marks & Spencer launches its Republic of Ireland website

Shoppers in the Republic of Ireland can now purchase clothes and home furnishings from Marks & Spencer online and have them delivered to their doors, as the retailer’s shopping website for the republic is now live.

The website offers M&S products across women’s clothing, lingerie, men’s clothing and children’s clothing, along with a selection of home furnishing products.

Its delivery prices range from €4.95 for standard delivery to €9.95 for express delivery.

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