Apple last night confirmed plans to expand its own-brand retail operations internationally, and the creation of a series of mini stores across the US.

Apple's plans to open a retail outlet on London's Regent Street are well-known. The company is also now hiring staff to run an outlet in Birmingham, and revealed that it intends opening other stores in the UK and Japan over the next 12 months.

A source told Macworld that, in addition to London and Birmingham, Apple is rumoured to be considering: Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton and Southampton.

The company drew $376 million in revenue from its stores in the quarter - 95 per cent more than in the year-ago quarter. This made $18 million profit. Average quarterly revenue was up 40 per cent per store, and the stores hosted 7.8 million visitors.

The company's chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer said that Apple plans to open six mini retail stores in the US this coming Saturday. he said these stores will have a new layout and design and will be situated in "interesting locations".

Apple has scheduled a press briefing on Saturday at one of the new mini stores, which is situated in a shopping centre near Stanford University.

This will be Apple's fourth store format. The company intends to have 100 stores (including the new London store) open by the end of the year.