Foxconn posts record quarterly profit on Apple boost

Foxconn factory in Foshan City, in southern China's Guangdong province. Hon Hai also known as Foxconn is the world's largest contract manufacturer

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Hon Hai Precision Industry, a major assembler of Apple products, has posted record quarterly profits helped by growing demand for iPhones and iPads.

The Taiwanese firm, also known as Foxconn Technology, posted a net profit of NT$37bn ($1.2bn; £814m) in the October to December quarter.

It also reported a 16% jump in full year profit for 2012 to NT$94.8bn.

Foxconn is the world's biggest contract electronics maker and Apple is one of its biggest clients.

According to some estimates, orders from Apple account for almost half of Foxconn's total revenue.

In the October to December quarter, Apple had sold 47.8 million iPhones, up from 37 million a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the launch of iPad mini, also boosted sales of its tablet PCs - it sold 22.9 million iPads, compared with 15.4 million in the same period in 2011.

Slowdown concerns

However, the heavy reliance on Apple has also raised concerns that Foxconn's growth may slow in the coming months.

Some analysts said the rapid rate of growth that smartphones and tablet PCs had seen in recent years could not be sustained.

"In most of the developed economies, smartphones are at a mature penetration stage and tablets are pretty close to being at that stage," said Andrew Milroy of consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan.

Mr Milroy added that Apple had so far not been able to replicate the success it enjoyed in the developed economies in emerging markets.

He explained that in the emerging economies, Apple products were still very expensive and out of reach for many consumers.

At the same time, Apple is facing increased competition from other smartphone makers in those markets.

"They are being hammered by low-cost smartphones in countries such as China," he said.

The fear is that if Apple's growth rate slows, it will have a knock on effect on suppliers such as Foxconn.

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