Sunday 19 November 2017

Apple reports biggest annual profit in history

Apple boss Tim Cook hails results as 'most successful year ever'

Apple CEO Tim Cook stands in front of a screen displaying apps available for the Apple watch
Apple CEO Tim Cook stands in front of a screen displaying apps available for the Apple watch

Jason Titcomb

Apple has recorded the biggest annual profit in corporate history, with record sales of the iPhone helping it to make $53.4bn (£35bn) in the last 12 months.

The world's biggest company surpassed the $45.2bn made by ExxonMobil in 2008, after the release of its latest smartphones increased profits by 31pc in its fourth quarter.

However, Apple warned that growth is likely to slow down significantly in the crucial Christmas period, and sales of the iPad fell by a fifth to their lowest level since 2011.

Shares rose slightly in after-hours trading despite Apple forecasting sales in the current quarter of between $75.5bn and $77.5bn - barely up on the same period last year.

Apple has been facing questions about its ability to maintain the tremendous growth that propelled it to a $750bn value this year, as China's economic troubles raise fears about customer demand for its pricey devices.

Analysts have also suggested that the Apple Watch, the company's first new product category since Steve Jobs' death four years' ago, has got off to a slow start since launching earlier this year.

Nonetheless, Apple said revenue increased by 22pc to $51.5bn in the three months to September 26, the final quarter of its fiscal year. This meant full-year revenue of $233.7bn and an annual profit of $53.4bn - equivalent to just over $1bn a week.

Every second in the last year Apple made a profit of $1693.11

The company sold 48m iPhones, an 22pc increase, during the quarter, which included the first two days that the new 6s and 6s Plus models were on sale. It sold 9.9m iPads, a 20pc decline. iPad sales have now fallen for seven consecutive quarters and are at their lowest since early 2011.

"This continued success is the result of our commitment to making the best, most innovative products on earth, and it’s a testament to the tremendous execution by our teams,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive.

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