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Apple profit jumps as Mac sales rise

Apple, the closest thing the tech industry has to a luxury brand, said that its profit jumped 15 per cent in the most recent quarter despite the recession.

Sales of Mac computers grew while the rest of the personal-computer industry shrank.

The company, which recently welcomed CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs back from a six-month medical leave, said earnings in the quarter that ended June 27 rose to $1.23 billion (£751 million), or $1.35 per share (82p). Apple's profit was $1.07 billion (£653 million), or $1.19 (72p) per share, in the same period last year.

Sales increased 12 per cent to $8.34 billion (£5.09 billion) from $7.46 billion (£4.55 billion)in the year-ago quarter, which is the third in Apple's fiscal calendar.

Apple beat Wall Street's forecast on both counts. Analysts were expecting Apple to earn $1.17 per share on $8.20 billion (£5.08 billion)in revenue, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.

"In a better economy I think we would have sold even more," Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said in an interview.

Apple said it sold more than 5.2 million iPhones in the quarter, more than seven times what it sold in the 2008 quarter, thanks to a newly released version of the device.

Apple's Mac computers also bolstered results. Apple sold 4 per cent more Mac computers than a year ago.

Meanwhile, researchers recently reported a 3 per cent to 5 per cent decline for the overall worldwide PC market in the same period.

The only weak spot was Apple's iPod line. Unit sales fell 7 per cent.

Apple's revenue increased in every region, including the United States and Europe. Worldwide retail store revenue increased 4 per cent from a year ago.

Shares of Cupertino, California-based Apple jumped $3.45, or 2.3 per cent, to $154.96 (£94.65) in after-hours trading, after slipping 91 cents to close at $151.51 (£92.54).