Apple returned another healthy set of financial results for its fiscal 2007 second quarter ended 31 March, exceeding guidance previously given by the company.

Company revenue hit $5.26 billion while its net quarterly profit reached $770 million. The company achieved $4.36 billion and net quarterly profit of $410 million in the same quarter of its previous financial year.

Speaking in January, chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer furnished a conservative target for the just gone quarter: “Looking ahead to the second fiscal quarter of 2007, we expect revenue of $4.8 to $4.9 billion," he said.

Additional highlights: Gross margin was 35.1 per cent, up from 29.8 per cent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 43 per cent of the quarter’s revenue.

Apple shipped 1,517,000 Macintosh computers and 10,549,000 iPods during the quarter, representing 36 per cent growth in Macs and 24 per cent growth in iPods over the year-ago quarter.

“The Mac is clearly gaining market share, with sales growing 36 percent – more than three times the industry growth rate,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’re very excited about the upcoming launch of iPhone in late June, and are also hard at work on some other amazing new products in our pipeline.”

“We are very pleased to report the most profitable March quarter in Apple’s history,” said Oppenheimer. “Looking ahead to the third fiscal quarter of 2007, we expect revenue of about $5.1 billion and earnings per diluted share of about $.66.”