Business

Apple posts record profit as iPod, Mac sales soar

Apple Inc. rode the surging popularity of its iPod music player and Mac computers to a record quarterly profit of $1 billion US, the company said Wednesday.

Apple Inc. rode the surging popularity of its iPod music player and Mac computers to a record quarterly profit of $1 billion US, the company said Wednesday.

The profit figure represented a 78 per cent increase over last year's fourth-quarter earnings.

Apple said it shipped more than 21 million iPods and 1.6 million Macs in the last three months of 2006 to meet strong Christmas shopping demand.

IPod sales were 50 per cent higher than a year ago, while Mac sales were up 28 per cent.

"We are incredibly pleased to report record quarterly revenue of over $7 billion [US] and record earnings of $1 billion [US]," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement.

"We've just kicked off what is going to be a very strong new product year for Apple by launching Apple TV and the revolutionary iPhone."

Apple said it hopes to sell 10 million iPhones in the first year.

Apple shares closed$2.15 US lower at $94.95 USWednesday, ahead of the earnings announcement. That's close to an all-time high.

Investors in Apple stock have largely shrugged off reports ofstock option grant irregularities at Apple. Apple said its own internal probe has cleared Jobs.