Apple lifts NZ profit

Apple's New Zealand arm has boosted its profit to NZ$15.1 million, and paid NZ$6.8 million in income tax on sales revenue of NZ$556.9 million.

Apple Sales New Zealand, the NZ unit of the iPhone maker, has increased its annual profit by 44 percent on largely unchanged sales as it benefits from a gain on its currency positions.

Profit was NZ$15.1 million in the year ended September 27, 2014, up from NZ$10.5 million on the previous year, according to its financial statements lodged with the Companies Office. Sales rose to NZ$568.5 million, from NZ$564.6 million, and it booked an extra NZ$8.4 million in income on foreign currency contracts.

The local unit of the world's biggest company by market value paid NZ$6.8 million in income tax, almost double the NZ$3.9 million it paid a year earlier. Apple is one of a number of high-profile multinational companies that have come under fire for minimising tax by routing profits through offshore subsidiaries.

Apple has also overtaken South Korea's Samsung to become the world's largest smartphone seller, with the launch of the latest iteration of its iPhone last year and ahead of the launch of its new smartwatch product.

The biggest outgoing cost was NZ$534.5 million spent on buying inventory from related parties, up from NZ$531.5 million a year earlier.

The local unit also paid a NZ$15 million dividend in May, increasing from NZ$14.8 million in 2013, which was its first dividend since the 2010 financial year.

Apple NZ sold NZ$556.9 million worth of goods in 2014, up from NZ$553.8 million a year earlier, while service fee income slipped to NZ$11.6 million, from NZ$11.9 million in the previous year.