Apple records biggest quarterly results in history

Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones in the three months leading up to 27 December, well ahead of most analysts' expectations.

US technology giant Apple has reported the biggest quarterly profit ever made by a public company.

Apple reported a net profit of $18 billion in its fiscal first quarter, which tops the $15.9 billion made by ExxonMobil in the second quarter of 2012, according to Standard and Poor's.

Record sales of iPhones were behind the surge in profits, with 74.5 million iPhones sold in the three months leading up to 27 December, well ahead of most analysts' expectations.

However, sales of the iPad continued to disappoint, falling by 22% in 2014 from a year earlier.

The demand for Apple's larger iPhone 6 Plus model appeared to help boost profits and increase the iPhone's gross profit margin - or how much Apple makes per product - by 2% to 39.9%.

However, Apple did not give a breakdown of sales for the iPhone 6 and other models.

Apple shares rose more than 5% in trading after the US markets had closed.

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