Apple logs global record with $18B profit in Q1; China sales rise 70%

Demand for big screen iPhone in China helped tech giant Apple Inc clock revenue of $74.6 billion for the first quarter ended December 27, 2014, up 30 per cent over the year-ago period and an increase of 77 per cent sequentially compared to the fourth quarter ended September 28, 2014.

Its net profit increased to $18 billion from $13.1 billion in the year-ago quarter, marking what is believed to be the highest ever profit generated by a public listed company ever globally.

Sales in Greater China, which includes China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, was the brightest spot growing 70 per cent year-on-year and more than doubled sequentially. Rest of Asia Pacific, which includes India but excludes Japan, grew 33 per year Y-o-Y and also saw demand more than double over the last quarter of last year.

The revenue increase over last year was clearly powered by iPhones and Macs whose unit sales grew 46 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively, Y-o-Y. Sequentially Mac’s growth remained stable while iPhone shipments rose 90 per cent.

iPhone unit sales of 74.5 million set a new record.

Its other key products, iPads, however, continue to disappoint declining again on a Y-o-Y basis though it grew sequentially in the key holiday and gifting season in the West. Apple sold 21.4 million iPads in Q1, compared to 26 million in the same quarter last year.

Gross margin was 39.9 per cent, compared to 37.9 percent last year. International sales accounted for 65 per cent of the quarter’s revenue.

“We’d like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

“Our exceptional results produced EPS growth of 48 per cent over last year, and $33.7 billion in operating cash flow during the quarter, an all-time record,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO.

“We spent over $8 billion on our capital return program, bringing total returns to investors to almost $103 billion, over $57 billion of which occurred in just the last 12 months,” Maestri added.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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