Apple posts highest Q4 revenue in almost a decade

Apple Computer's iPod music player has helped the company to post its highest fourth-quarter revenue in nine years.

Apple Computer's iPod music player has helped the company to post its highest fourth-quarter revenue in nine years.

Revenue for the period ending 25 September was $2.35bn (£1.3bn), up 37% from the $1.72bn in revenue recorded during last year's fourth quarter.

Apple increased Macintosh shipments by 6% and iPod shipments by 500% compared to the fourth quarter of last year. A total of about two million iPod music players were shipped during the quarter, Apple said.

Net income for the quarter was $106m, up from the $44m in net income posted during last year's fourth quarter.

Apple's music business is quickly becoming one of its crown jewels. For the first time, the company earned more revenue from the iPod during the quarter than from any other product. Total revenue from iPod shipments was $537m with revenue from PowerBook sales trailing at $419m.

Apple enjoys a leading position in the markets for music players and online music downloads, according to market research released this week.

Like other PC companies, Apple has struggled with some inventory problems this year. However, Apple is trying to keep up with demand for its products while other PC companies that use processors from Intel are having to deal with excess inventory.

Shipments of  iMac and Power Mac systems fell in the fourth quarter compared to last year, as processor supply problems continued to affect Apple's shipments. Increased shipments of Apple notebooks accounted for the overall growth in shipments of Macintosh systems.

For the 2004 fiscal year, Apple recorded revenue of $8.28bn and net income of $276m, both substantial increases over the company's results in 2003.

The company expects revenue to grow to between $2.8bn and $2.9bn during the consumer-focused first quarter of its fiscal year, it said.

Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service

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