Apple's main PowerPC manufacturer Motorola announced a profitable third quarter on 14 per cent less sales yesterday.

The company returned sales of $6.4 billion and net earnings of $111 million, or $.05 per share in the quarter.

This represents a sales decrease of 14 per cent from $7.4 billion for the year-ago period. However - the year-ago net loss for the same period was $1.4 billion.

Motorola president and chief operating officer Mike Zafirovski said: "Our improvement in profitability in the third quarter is a solid indication that our focus on customers, coupled with the aggressive and timely restructuring of the company that began two years ago, is bearing results in a difficult economic environment."

He added: "At the same time, we continue to invest in research and development, improving customer relationships, and bringing new products to market as we balance our focus on both short- and long-term results."