Apple posts record quarterly profit

<p>Apple has reported the biggest quarterly profit ever for a public company.</p>

Apple has smashed a new record for a public company.

The Californian technology giant reported a net profit $18 billion (£11.8 billion) for its fiscal first quarter – the highest ever made by a public company in a single quarter. The figure surpasses the previous largest of $15.9 billion set by ExxonMobil in the second quarter of 2012, according to research by Standard and Poor's.

Apple explained that the strong performance had been driven by all-time record revenue from iPhone and Mac sales. The company's App Store also enjoyed huge success over the period, adding to Apple's record-breaking total. The iPhone was the big winner of the quarter selling 74.5 million units.

Figures from Apple's latest trading update showed that revenue was up to $74.6 billion, up from the $57.6 billion from the same period 12 months earlier. Gross margin had also increased from 37.9 per cent to 39.9 per cent during the same timeframe.

Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive officer, said: “We’d like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high. Our revenue grew 30 per cent over last year to $74.6 billion, and the execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal."

New products

Following its successful final quarter, Apple has been looking ahead to the future and is set to launch a new product in the coming months. Mr Cook announced that the long awaited Apple Watch will begin shipping in April. The digital watch would represent Apple's first major new product since the release of the iPad in 2010.

Mr Cook explained that the company was "making great progress" in the development side of the Apple Watch, adding that it had been seeing "some incredible innovation".

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