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Tuesday, October 19, 1999 Published at 21:05 GMT 22:05 UK

Business: The Company File

Computer craze boosts Microsoft

Rising demand for computers boosted Microsoft

Microsoft has revealed a surprising 30% leap in profits, which it said was boosted by "awesome" demand for personal computers.

And the rise in sales is expected to continue, the software giant said.

The size of the rise in profits was greater than experts had forecast.

[ image: Microsoft founder Bill Gates is the world's richest man]
Microsoft founder Bill Gates is the world's richest man
The world's biggest computer software company had a net income of $2.19bn for the fiscal first quarter ending 30 September.

The figure was up from $1.68bon a year earlier. Revenues rose 28% to $5.38bn from $4.19bn.

Microsoft shares jumped almost three points in after-hours activity on the announcement.

The stock was at 89-3/4 immediately after the announcement, up from its closing price of 86-5/16 on the Nasdaq.

Microsoft shares fell 1-9/16 during the regular session.

The company said fears over the Millennium bug had not knocked profits and sales were rising.

Asia on the rise

Chief Financial Officer Greg Maffei said: "It does not appear that Y2K had a significant impact on results.

"During the quarter, we also saw excellent PC unit growth, particularly in Asia, and we expect that trend to continue in the December quarter."

Revenue from Asia rose 82% in the quarter to $593m.

Microsoft also confirmed that manufacturing of its Windows 2000 operating system, the successor to Windows NT, is set to begin by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the judge in the Microsoft anti-trust trial said he would release his findings on a Friday - but did not say which one.

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