Apple has issued a profits warning, lowering its revenue forecasts. It cited a broad weakness in the PC market and slow overseas sales as reasons.

The company expects to generate between $1.40bn and $1.45bn in revenue for its third fiscal quarter, down from a previous estimate of $1.6 billion, it said in a statement. Lacklustre consumer sales and weak markets in Europe and Japan were offered as the main reasons for the reduced outlook.

Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, said: “Like others in our industry, we are experiencing a slowdown in sales this quarter. As a result, we’re going to miss our revenue projections by around 10 per cent, resulting in slightly lower profits.

“We’ve got some amazing new products in development, so we’re excited about the year ahead. As one of the few companies currently making a profit in the PC business, we remain very optimistic about Apple’s prospects for long-term growth.”

Soft demand in the consumer and creative markets, such as advertising and publishing, was also cited as a reason for the reduced forecast.

Apple’s third quarter ends on June 30; the company is due to report its results on July 16.

Apple shares declined during Tuesday’s trading, ahead of the announcement. Prices fell almost 2 per cent to $20.15 on the Nasdaq exchange.

The company's conference call for financial analysts is available for viewing until June 25.