Apple has recorded its "strongest financial results ever", posting record profits and sales for its first quarter of 2016.
But due to a "weakening" macroeconomic environment it anticipated its sales to be down between five per cent and 10 per cent year on year for its March quarter at between $50bn (£34.9bn) and $53bn.
For the three months ending 26 December 2015, Apple's net profit was $18.4bn, up from $18bn in the same quarter last year, on sales of $75.9bn, compared with $74.6bn in the same period last year.
Its results were boosted by an upswing in services revenue which was at $6.1bn, up 15 per cent year on year, thanks to a strong growth in its apps. But Apple saw a fall in iPad sales, with it selling 16.1 million units compared with 21.4 million units in the same period last year. Meanwhile, its iPhone sales were mainly flat, with it selling 74.8 million units, a rise of 300,000 units year on year.
Tim Cook, Apple CEO, said the results represented a "huge accomplishment", given "the turbulent world around us", on an earnings call transcribed by Seeking Alpha.
"Our financial position has never been stronger," he said. "We had the mother of all balance sheets, with almost $216bn in cash, which translates to nearly $39 per diluted share of Apple stock. We continue to invest confidently in our future and we also continue to return capital to our shareholders at a rapid pace."
He added that the current economic conditions are becoming increasingly challenging.
"We're seeing extreme conditions unlike anything we've experienced before just about everywhere we look," he said. "Major markets, including Brazil, Russia, Japan, Canada, south east Asia, Australia, Turkey and the eurozone have been impacted by slowing economic growth, falling commodity prices and weakening currencies."
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