Over half of sales in Q2 are to newcomers while retail operations see major upswing in demand

Mac first timers boost Apple to best ever Q2

Apple has reported its strongest ever second quarter results on the back of strong retail and channel sales and higher than anticipated demand for its Mac range of computers.

Apple posted a quarterly profit of $1.06 billion (£535 million) from revenue of $7.51 billion (£3.8 billion) for the second quarter. Those figures compare to a quarterly profit of $770 million (£390 million) from revenues of $5.26 billion (£2.66 billion) in 2007.

Mac sales were up a massive 51 per cent on 2007’s shipments, hitting 2.29 million units – accounting for 59 per cent of Apple’s revenue for the quarter – with over half of all Macs sold going to people who have previously never owned one before, commented Apple’s CFO Paul Oppenheimer.

Its retail stores generated $1.45 billion (£730 million) in revenue during the quarter, an increase of 74 per cent on the same time last year, boosted by increased sales of Macs, 458,000 of which were sold through its stores – an increase of 67 per cent year-on-year – accounting for just under 20 per cent of all Mac sales, and around 40 per cent of direct sales.

The number of people shopping in its stores was also up, hitting 33.7 million – an increase of 57 per cent on the same time last year. Apple also revealed that it was planning to open a further 45 stores during the 2008 financial year including stores in Liverpool and Bristol, bringing its total amount of retail stores to 253.

Channel sales were also strong, accounting for 47 per cent of all the firm’s shipments, with Apple’s COO Timothy Cook commenting that he was particularly pleased with how its Best Buy rollout is performing.

Oppenheimer also revealed that Apple experienced 3.5 times the rate of average growth in the PC market, with both its desktop and laptop divisions experiencing growth of over 30 per cent, boosted by recent refreshes of the MacBook, MacBook Pro and Mac Pro, as well as the launch of the MacBook Air.

"We’re delighted to report 43 per cent revenue growth and the strongest March quarter revenue and earnings in Apple’s history," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs. "With over $17 billion in revenue for the first half of our fiscal year, we have strong momentum to launch some terrific new products in the coming quarters."

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