Oct 24, 2008

Business - Microsoft beats profit forecast

US software giant Microsoft has posted profits and sales figures well above analysts' expectations.

The firm made a $4.37bn profit during the first three months of its financial year, up from $4.29bn a year ago, while turnover rose 9% to $15.06bn.

Finance boss Chris Liddell said Microsoft had demonstrated the strength and diversity of its business model "in a challenging economic environment".

In after-hours trading the firm's shares rose more than 4%.

However, the company also warned that during the next three months it was unlikely to meet the estimates of Wall Street analysts because of the economic slowdown.

"Our customers are asking how they can save money and do more with less," said Kevin Turner, the company's chief operating officer.

Like many technology firms, Microsoft has seen its share price plummet in recent months - down more than 40% this year

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