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iPod the Apple of investors’ eyes

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Apple has reported a 78% surge in profits for the three months to 30th December, powered by brisk seasonal sales of its iPod digital music player, one of the best investment decisions the firm has made in recent years.

Net profit for the firm’s fiscal first quarter rose to a record $1bn (£508m) from $565m a year earlier, equating to $1.14 a share. Wall Street had been only expecting 77 cents a share.

The figures were helped by strong sales of Apple laptops, into which the company had made robust saving and investment plays, and these comprised the “icing on the cake” for investors.

Apple’s chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer, said: “We sold 1.6 million computers and more than 21 million iPods during the quarter, representing growth of 28% and 50% respectively from last year.

“Our stock (shares) increased 16% last year, after more than doubling in 2005 and tripling in 2004.”

“This was certainly one for the record books,” he added. “We also launched our iPhone product last week so our saving and investment into the business is still strong and will remain so as we push the company to new highs.”

Shares in Apple rose 5% in after-hours trading in New York on publication of the results.



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