The digital business week

31 Jan 2011

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

LinkedIn files for IPO

Business social networking site LinkedIn has filed an S-1 form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, announcing its plans to go public.

LinkedIn, through advertising and business services, drew a net revenue for 2010’s first nine months of US$161m, with a $10m profit. In the same period in 2009, it made half that revenue and a profit of $3.4m.

Murdoch’s BSkyB buys Wi-Fi operator The Cloud

A UK Wi-Fi operator co-founded by Irish entrepreneur Norman Crowley has been bought by BSkyB.

Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB has bought The Cloud – which now has more than 5,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots across the UK – for just under stg£50m.

“To support our mobile content activities we are announcing the acquisition of The Cloud. It gives us ownership of over 5,000 public Wi-Fi networks across the UK, ensuring customers can access our online services at a network of convenient locations,” BSkyB said in its second-half financials.

As well as supporting Sky Mobile TV, the acquisition will also enable BSkyB to offer its residential broadband customers access to Wi-Fi hotspots on the move.

Technology remains most trusted sector in Ireland

Political shenanigans, gambling bankers and a dysfunctional economy aside, technology remains the most trusted sphere of life in Ireland, according to the annual Edelman Trust Barometer.

The survey shows that trust in most industries in Ireland is up, which reflects the global trend. Technology remains the most trusted sector (75pc) followed by the food and beverage (64pc) and the automotive and entertainment sectors (both 61pc).

Microsoft reports record near US$20bn quarter

Microsoft reported record US$20bn revenues for its second quarter and profits of US$6.6bn. The strong results reflected sustained demand for the Windows 7 operating system, Office 10 and some 8m sales of Kinect sensors.

Among the factors driving Microsoft’s record revenues and earnings per share was the 55pc growth in revenue for the Entertainment & Devices Division, as the success of the Kinect sensor boosted sales of Xbox 360 consoles, Xbox Live subscriptions and Xbox games.

Microsoft Business Division revenue grew 24pc year-over-year. Office 2010 is the fastest-selling consumer version of Office in history, with licence sales more than 50pc ahead of Office 2007 over an equivalent period following launch.

Samsung reports earnings record in 2010

Samsung Electronics Co. has announced revenues of 41.87trn Korean won on a consolidated basis for Q4 2010, a 7pc increase year-on-year.

The company posted consolidated net income of 3.42trn won for the quarter, a 13pc increase year-on-year. Consolidated operating profit for the quarter was 3.01trn won.

Samsung had estimated fourth-quarter consolidated revenues would reach about 41trn won with an operating profit of 3trn won.

The fourth-quarter results brought Samsung’s full-year 2010 revenue to an all-time high of 154.63trn won, up 13pc from last year. Net income reached a record high of 16.15trn won, up 65pc compared with the previous year, while operating profit was 17.30trn won, also a record.

Nintendo’s profits down 74.3pc year-on-year

Video-game company Nintendo’s profits have dropped by 74.3pc from last year.

According to Nintendo’s financial results report, during a nine-month period which ended on 31 December 2010, profits reached 49.6bn yen, down from last year’s figure of 192.6bn yen.

Net sales were down 31.7pc from last year, reaching 807.9bn yen.

Nintendo blamed these results on slower sales, the appreciation of the yen and exchange losses caused by the re-evaluation of assets in foreign currencies.

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