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Apple breaks profit and revenue records on the strength of iPhones and Macs

Its marquee products benefited from a strong brand image and customer loyalty, boosting annual net income to $99.8 billion year over year

Apple en Shanghai (China)
An Apple store in Shanghai, China, in an image from this week.HECTOR RETAMAL (AFP)
Miguel Jiménez

Apple is weathering the global economic slowdown better than other technology giants. The firm led by Tim Cook closed its 2022 fiscal year with an annual profit of $99.8 billion, a 5.4% rise from the previous year and the highest figure ever achieved by a private company. Annual revenue also set a new record for the company, growing 7.8% to $394.3 billion year over year, the company said.

The company kept up growth in the fourth fiscal quarter, growing its sales by 8.1% to $90.2 billion, while net income rose 0.8% from the same time last year, to $20,7 billion.

The iPhone, its marquee product, benefited from its strong brand image and customer loyalty. Although only one week of iPhone 14 sales is included in the quarterly results, the impression is that the company has managed to raise prices with its new launches without affecting sales. The iPhone accounted for around half of all sales, generating $42.6 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter, 9.5% more than a year ago though still a little less than what analysts had expected. The latter see the Apple Watch and AirPods as more likely to feel the effects of cooling consumption.

Mac sales were very strong, rising by 25% to $25.5 billion, a quarterly record for the company, while iPads performed poorly, declining 13% to $7.2 billion.

“This quarter’s results reflect Apple’s commitment to our customers, to the pursuit of innovation, and to leaving the world better than we found it,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement in which he said the company is ready for the holiday season with the most powerful product line in its history.

At a conference call with analysts, Cook also said that the company “continued to perform incredibly well” in emerging markets, with double-digit growth in India, Southeast Asia and Latin America. However, he acknowledged that “we continue to live through unprecedented times, from war in eastern Europe to the persistence of Covid-19, from climate disasters around the world to an increasingly difficult economic environment. A lot of people in a lot of places are struggling.”

Luca Maestri, Apple’s chief financial officer, said at the same conference call that the company’s record September quarterly results demonstrate Apple’s ability to deliver despite a difficult and volatile macroeconomic backdrop. “We have continued to invest in our long-term growth plans, generating more than $24 billion in operating cash flow and returning more than $29 billion to our shareholders during the quarter.”

While Alphabet (Google), Microsoft, Amazon and, above all, Meta (Facebook) have shown disappointing results this quarter, Apple has beaten analysts’ expectations. Following the release of its financial statements, Apple shares experienced volatility in after-hours trading, alternating up and down from the session’s closing price.

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