By Claire Reilly (Follow me on Twitter)

Apple released its results for the 2011 fiscal fourth quarter today, announcing a jump of more than $2 billion in profit compared to the same period last year. Taking into account results from the past 4 quarters, Apple boasted profits of almost $26 billion – slightly less than the gross domestic product of Latvia.

As is the wont of technology companies worldwide, Apple has set its own fiscal year with the fourth quarter ending on the reasonably erroneous date of 24 September 2011. For the 13 week period, the company posted $28.27 billion in revenue and a net profit of $6.62 billion, up on the corresponding quarter in 2010 which saw revenue of $20.34 billion and net quarterly profit of $4.31 billion.

Also staggering in terms of Apple’s growth was the number of products it sold across the world in 13 weeks. The company sold 17.07 million iPhones (up 21 per cent on the previous year in terms of unit sales), 4.89 Macs (up 26 per cent) and 11.12 million iPads (up a phenomenal 166 per cent). iPod sales were disappointing by comparison, with a 27 per cent decline in unit sales down to 6.62 million.

“We are thrilled with the very strong finish of an outstanding fiscal 2011, growing annual revenue to $108 billion and growing earnings to $26 billion,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “Customer response to iPhone 4S has been fantastic, we have strong momentum going into the holiday season, and we remain really enthusiastic about our product pipeline.”

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Adding to Cook’s comments was chief financial officer of Apple, Peter Oppenheimer, who predicted revenue in the order of $37 billion for the first fiscal quarter of 2012.

Despite the astronomical growth figures, the quarterly results were not necessarily a blip on the Apple radar. Last quarter (ended 25 June 2011), the company posted a record quarterly net profit of $7.31 billion and revenue of $28.57 billion.

In that period, iPad unit sales figures were up 183 per cent on the previous year, while iPhones and Macs were up 142 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.

Using figures from the past year’s quarterly results, Apple has sold 72.3 million iPhones, 32.39 million iPads, 16.73 million Macs and 42.63 million iPods in its last fiscal year. It saw revenues of $108.25 billion and net profits of $25.92 billion.