Apple profits fall for first time in 10 years despite strong sales


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The Independent Online

Apple's quarterly profits have declined for the first time in a decade, the company said last night, even as it managed to beat expectations with strong sales for the first three months of this year.

The mixed-bag of results came amid growing concerns about the pace of growth at the Californian technology behemoth.

The company said its revenues had climbed to $43.6bn (£28.6bn) over the period, against expectations of $43.3bn (£28.4bn). The result was an improvement over the $39.2bn (£25.7bn) in sales during the first three months of 2012. Net profits over the quarter came in at $9.5bn (£6.2bn), well short of the $11.6bn (£7.6bn) it earned over the same period last year.

Profits had been expected to weaken, as the iPhone-maker faces growing competition from the likes of Samsung, and the attendant pressure on its margins.

Until recently, the company had enjoyed quarter after quarter of record growth, with customers snapping up its range of shiny Macs, iPhones and iPads. Investors are now pressuring chief executive Tim Cook, who took over from the late Steve Jobs, to launch new products to win back customers.

Last night's results should help answer some of those concerns, with the company saying it had sold more iPhones – 37.4 million, against 35.1 million in the same quarter last year – and more iPads. It had also sold just under 4 million Macs in the period.

"We are pleased to report record March quarter revenue thanks to continued strong performance of iPhone and iPad," said Mr Cook. "Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software and services, and we are very excited about the products in our pipeline."