Finance Finance News Apple profit tops forecasts

Apple profit tops forecasts

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Apple has reported a quarterly profit of $US7.5 billion ($A7.85 billion) on the back of soaring iPhone sales.

The US tech giant closed out its fiscal year with a net annual profit of $US37 billion ($A38.70 billion), an impressive figure but the first annual decline in earnings in 11 years.

“We’re pleased to report a strong finish to an amazing year with record fourth quarter revenue, including sales of almost 34 million iPhones,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in a release on Monday.

The quarterly profit was down 8.6 per cent from a year earlier, but ahead of most analyst forecasts. It came on revenues of some $US37.5 billion in the quarter ending September 28, up four per cent year-on-year.

California-based Apple reported selling 33.8 million iPhones in the quarter that ended September 28, setting a new record for sales in that quarter.

Apple said that iPad sales inched up to 14.1 million in a slight rise from the 14 million sold during the same quarter last year.

The current quarter was expected to be a more telling one for iPads, since Apple last week beefed up the line with a slim iPad Air model and an improved iPad Mini ahead of the prime holiday shopping season.

Apple last week also showed off upgrades to its notebooks and desktop computers along with free software to sweeten the deal.

The new iPads will be sold alongside existing versions starting November 1 in more than 40 markets around the world. For the first time, China will be among the countries getting the latest iPad models on launch day.

Apple upgrades for its MacBook line of notebooks and Mac Pro desktop computer, and its new operating system called Mavericks will be available as a free upgrade for those with existing Apple computers.

Apple reported that it sold 4.6 million Macs, compared to 4.9 million in the year-ago quarter.

“We’re excited to go into the holidays with our new iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, iOS 7, the new iPad mini with Retina Display and the incredibly thin and light iPad Air, new MacBook Pros, the radical new Mac Pro, OS X Mavericks and the next generation iWork and iLife apps for OS X and iOS,” Cook said.

Apple’s board of directors also declared a cash dividend of $3.05 per share of common stock.