Apple returns to profit after one year

15 Jan 2004

After posting a net loss of US$8m this time last year, Apple Computer has posted a net profit of US$63m in its Q1 results, after a year that saw its iTunes music service log more than 10m downloads as well as widespread adoption of Mac OS X and sales of its computers and iPod music player increasing exponentially.

Revenue for the quarter reached a four-year high of US$2bn, up 36pc from the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 26.7pc, down from 27.6pc in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 44pc of the quarter’s revenue.

Apple shipped 829,000 Macintosh units during the quarter, up 12pc from the year-ago quarter, as well as 733,000 iPod units, up 235pc from the year-ago quarter.

“It was an outstanding quarter for Apple, with double-digit unit and revenue growth and over 730,000 iPods sold,” said Steve Jobs (pictured), Apple’s CEO.

“We’re kicking off 2004 with strong momentum, especially for Mac OS X, which is now used by almost 40pc of our installed base, iPod and the iTunes Music Store, which has a 70pc share of the legal music download market.”

“We are very pleased to have exceeded our revenue and profit targets for the first quarter,” said Fred Anderson, Apple’s chief financial officer. “Continued strong asset management enabled us to increase cash by US$225m to just under US$4.8bn.

“Looking ahead to the second quarter of fiscal 2004, we expect our third consecutive quarter of year-over-year double-digit growth in both revenue and earnings, with revenue of about US$1.8bn and earnings per diluted share of US$.08 to US$.10.”

By John Kennedy