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Mac sales lift Apple profits by 67%

23 октября 2007

Surging sales of Macintosh computers drove Apple profits up 67 per cent in the fourth quarter - and the company predicted a bumper Christmas holiday period.

Mac sales lift Apple profits by 67%The results were stronger than expected and came in spite of a slowdown in the rate of growth in sales of the iPod, the portable music player that has helped turn Apple into a dominant consumer brand.

Apple’s shares, which rose 2.3 per cent on Monday ahead of the announcement, jumped 6.8 per cent in after-hours trading to $186.21. The rise pushed Apple ahead of IBM on the list of the world’s biggest technology companies by market capitalisation.Apple said it had sold 1.12m iPhone handsets in the quarter, bringing total iPhones sales this year to 1.38m.

But it was a strong appetite for Macintosh personal computers that drove earnings of $1.01 a share on sales of $6.22bn, up 67 per cent from a net profit of 62 cents a share on sales of $4.84bn last time. Most Wall Street analysts had expected earnings of 86 cents a share on sales of $6.07bn.

Apple said it expected to make earnings of $1.42 per share on sales of $9.2bn in the coming quarter, which will include the Christmas shopping season.

However, there was a year-on-year decline in the rate of sales growth for the iPod. Apple said it had sold 10.2m iPods in the fourth quarter, an increase of 17 per cent over the same time last year. Sales had grown 35 per cent between the fourth quarter of 2005 and that of 2006.

In spite of the slower growth, the iPod remained a big contributor. Van Baker, an analyst at Gartner, said: “It’s the law of large numbers...It’s coming back to bite them a bit. But we’re still talking about 10.2m units.”

Apple is to roll out the iPhone in Europe in the next few weeks.

Источник: Financial Times

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