Apple posts record revenue and profit

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Computer giant records record sales of Macs, iPhones and iPads, although iPod shipments fall during its latest quarter

Apple has posted another bumper set of financial results, with iPhone sales up 86 per cent to over 16 million units compared with the year-ago period, and iPad sales reaching more than seven million units.

For its quarter ended December 25, 2010, Apple said revenue was $26.74 billion and net profit was $6 billion, both record numbers for the Cupertino-based firm.

Its gross profit margin was 38.5 per cent, down from 40.9 per cent in the same period a year ago.

Apple said it sold 4.13 million Macs during the quarter, up 23 per cent.

It sold 16.24 million iPhones in the quarter, up 86 per cent, and 19.45 million iPods, down seven per cent. Sales of iPads reached 7.33 million.

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs (pictured), who has announced he is to take extended medical leave from the company he founded in 1976, said: “We had a phenomenal holiday quarter with record Mac, iPhone and iPad sales.

“We are firing on all cylinders and we’ve got some exciting things in the pipeline for this year including iPhone 4 on Verizon which customers can’t wait to get their hands on.”

Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer remarked: “We couldn’t be happier with the performance of our business, generating $9.8 billion in cash flow from operations during the December quarter.

“Looking ahead to the second fiscal quarter of 2011, we expect revenue of about $22 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $4.90.”

Apple has not specified Jobs’ expected return date, nor detail of his condition.

Jobs himself has requested privacy around the matter.

The new medical leave follows six months out to undergo a liver transplant in 2009, and time off in 2004 for pancreatic surgery.

Apple chief operating officer Tim Cook will handle day-to-day operations during Jobs’ absence.