Apple boosts Q4 profit 46% on record iPhone sales

Record iPhone sales helped stimulate another quarter of strong growth at Apple, with the company boosting net profit 46% to €1.10 billion.
In its most profitable quarter ever, Apple increased revenue 25% to €6.59 billion and boosted gross margin 1.9 points to 36.6%.
During what COO Tim Cook called the “quarter of the portable,” iPhone sales rose 7% year-on-year to 7.4 million units. Mac sales increased 17% to 3.05 million units, driven by strong demand for notebooks. The release of Apple's Snow Leopard OS also contributed, Cook said.
The result beat analysts' expectations of income of €755 million and sales of €6.15 billion.
“For the full year, we grew revenue by 12% and net income by 18% in extraordinarily challenging times,” CFO Peter Oppenheimer said. Annual income rose to €3.8 billion, while revenue reached €24.4 billion.
Apple expects its strong growth to continue into the year ahead, and is predicting revenue of €7.55 billion to €7.75 billion for the first quarter of its 2010 financial year. CEO Steve Jobs said new products were in the pipeline for 2010 but did not elaborate.
Oppenheimer expects a further boost from the launch of iPhone in China, the world's largest telecom market by customers, at the end of this month. International sales accounted for around 46% of Apple's Q4 revenue.
Apple stock jumped 6.3% to nearly €135 in after-hours trading on Nasdaq.

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