Apple's retail segment returned $1 million in profits during Apple's fourth quarter, chief financial officer Fred Anderson revealed last night.

It’s the first profitable quarter for the company's retail outlets, in which average per store revenue rose from $2.6 million last quarter to $3.1 million per store.

Anderson said 4.3 million people visited the stores. "Traffic continues to be strong", he added. 3.1 million visited the stores in Apple's third quarter.

With six new stores opened in the period, Apple hopes to have 73 stores open by Thanksgiving (November 27).

The company is also preparing to open its first Apple retail store outside the US, in Tokyo's trendy Ginza shopping district. Anderson said the company is "extremely excited" about the opening, adding that Apple already has a "huge installed base" in Japan.

The company sold 59,000 Macs through its retail stores – a 48 per cent rise against its previous quarter, and 74 per cent more than sales achieved in the year-ago quarter. These sales added $193 million to Apple's total revenues.