Cupertino, Calif. - Apple said it posted its most profitable quarter ever in the fourth quarter, ended September 30, on record Mac and iPhone sales, and generating a 46.6 percent gain in net income to $1.67 billion on a 25 percent gain in sales to $9.87 billion.
For the full fiscal year, sales were up 12.5 percent to $36.5 billion, and net income was up 18 percent to $5.7 billion.
For the quarter, the company's retail stores worldwide generated $1.87 billion in sales, up 8.7 percent from the year-ago period and up 25 percent sequentially from the third quarter. Also for the quarter, Apple's gross margin rose to 36.6 percent from the year-ago 34.7 percent.
Worldwide iPod sales during the quarter declined 8 percent in units year over year to 10.2 million and 6 percent in dollars to $1.54 billion, but unit sales were flat sequentially and up sequentially in dollars by 5 percent. Revenues from Apple-branded and third-party iPod accessories, iTunes store sales and other iPod services rose 22 percent to $1 billion.
Sales of iPhones, which have been rolled out in more countries, rose 7 percent in units to 7.37 million, while revenues generated by iPhone hardware sales, carrier agreements and from Apple-branded and third-party iPhone accessories rose an astounding 195 percent to $2.3 billion
Sales of desktops and portables combined rose 9.2 percent to $3.95 billion in the quarter.
Al told, desktops and laptops accounted for 40 percent of Apple's fourth-quarter revenue, while iPods and related revenues accounted for 26 percent, iPhones and related revenues accounted for 23 percent, and peripherals and software accounted for 11 percent.
Excluding sales through the company's stores, Apple's company's U.S. sales grew 20 percent during the fourth quarter to $4.3 billion, with Europe posting 45 percent growth to $2.5 billion; Japan sales up 36 percent to $434 million; and other geographic areas, including Asia Pacific, rising 39 percent to $781 million.
For its part, research company iSuppli said Apple has been gaining share in the global smartphone and PC markets in 2009. The company said worldwide smartphone shipments would rise 11.6 percent in calendar 2009 while iPhones will soar 37 percent.