Apple expects to overcome its third quarter woes by breaking even in the fourth quarter, according to Pascal Cagni, Apple's general manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Cagni told Italian news Web site La Stampa: "It would be crazy to expect strong growth at this moment, therefore we aim to break even in the next quarter."

He added that sales of Apple's new 17-inch iMac and a range of tempting pricing initiatives would help the turn around.

The company announced its third quarter results in July. Revenues met Apple's lowered estimates, but slid from $61 million to $32 million compared to the year ago period.

Sales dropped to $1.43 billion in the third quarter after $1.48 billion a year earlier and $1.5 billion in the March quarter.

Fred Anderson, Apple's chief financial officer, has said that Apple should yield a "slight profit" for its fourth quarter results, after accounting for non-recurring charges. Apple had not given a reason for the discrepancy at publication time.