Microsoft sees its profits double as Xbox sales rise

MICROSOFT reported a higher-than-expected jump in first quarter profits of 51 per cent yesterday, helped by increased sales of its flagship Windows and Office software and the launch of the latest blockbuster Halo video game.

The world’s largest software company posted profits of $5.41bn (£3.4bn), or 62 cents per share, in the three months to 30 September, up from $3.6bn, or 40 cents per share, during the same period a year earlier. Revenue soared 25 per cent to $16.2bn – a company record for the first quarter.

Microsoft said it continued to see a “healthy and sustaining business PC refresh cycle,” while adding Xbox 360 console sales grew 38 per cent and noting Bing.com continued to build market share. Chief financial officer Peter Klein said the company had not seen any adverse effect on sales of computers running Windows due to Apple’s popular iPad tablet device.

Shares rose 2.8 per cent in after-hours trading.