Microsoft profit up 35pc

MICROSOFT posted a better-than-expected 35 per cent jump in quarterly profit yesterday, lifted by sales of Windows 7.

The company reported a net profit of $4.01bn (£2.6bn), for its fiscal third quarter ended 31 March, compared with $2.98bn, a year ago. The results were above analysts’ expectations.

Quarterly net revenue rose six per cent to $14.5bn, beating analysts’ average estimate of $14.39bn.

“In the third quarter, we saw a return to growth in business’s hardware spending – both PCs and servers, which was different than what we’ve seen over the last three or four quarters,” said chief financial officer Peter Klein.

Klein said he expects business tech spending to recover in the latter half of 2010 and into 2011.

Its shares fell 4.7 per cent in after-hours trading to $29.93 from its close at $31.39 on Nasdaq.