Computer giant Apple was yesterday celebrating its best quarterly results performance, after sales of iPod music players increased six-fold.
The California-based group posted profits of $320 million (£181.4 million) in the three months to June 25, compared with $61 million (£34.6 million) for the same period a year earlier.
Sales surged to $3.52 billion (£2 billion) from $2.01 billion (£1.14 billion) in the third quarter of 2004.
Apple shipped 6.15 million iPods during the quarter, representing a rise of 616 per cent on a year ago and reflecting the continued popularity of the product, which can store thousands of songs and has been praised for kick-starting the market for digital music distribution.
The company also shipped 1.18 million Macintosh computers, up 35 per cent on a year earlier, while it described the launch of its Mac OS X Tiger operating system as a " tremendous success". Chief executive Steve Jobs said: "We are delighted to report Apple's best quarter ever in both revenue and earnings."
He added that the company had "more amazing new products in the pipeline".
Apple has now sold more than 20 million iPods, with the popularity of the music player leading customers to other products in the group's range.
Looking ahead to the fourth quarter Apple expects to achieve revenues of $3.5 billion (£1.98 billion), slightly below Wall Street expectations.