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Apple posts $106 million profit

Doubles all round as Mac maker celebrates first year in profit since 1995

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Apple today posted a fourth-quarter profit of $106 million on revenues of $1.56 billion, ensuring the Mac maker not only saw its fourth consecutive quarter of profit but its first full year in the black since 1995. For the whole of fiscal 1998, the company achieved a profit of $309 million on revenues of $5.9 billion. However, that figure was down on the $7.1 billion the company posted last year, though it also made a loss of $1 billion. Apple interim CEO Steve Jobs -- 18 months on and the company still hasn't found a replacement for the temporary return of its founder -- claimed the $1.2 billion sortfall arose from falling prices and the hit it took from shutting down the Newton and imaging divisions. The company shipped 834,000 units in the last quarter (up from 635,000 in Q1), a figure derived from strong growth in all territories but the Pacific Rim. During the last three quarters, Apple managed to bring its inventory down 80.5 per cent, from $400 million to $78 million. CFO Fred Anderson was bullish about Apple's future, and predicted the company's growth during 1999 would be above the 12-15 per cent analysts have pegged for the PC industry as a whole. His estimates assume strong sales of the iMac continuing on through the Christmas period, which Apple hopes to boost with a $5 million advertising and promotional campaign. The company has also signed up US chain Best Buy to push the iMac in 300 stores. ® Click for more stories

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