Apple announced record figures in its quarterly results for the final three months of 2014, with its performance boosted by sales of the latest generation of iPhone - the 6 and 6 Plus.

The company said that for the quarter ending on 27 December there was record quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion and record quarterly net profit of $18 billion.

These results compare to revenue of $57.6 billion and net profit of $13.1 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

International sales accounted for 65% of the quarter's revenue. The sale of 74.5 million iPhones was also a new record.

The profit figure for the final quarter of last year is the highest ever recorded by a public company, beating the previous record set by ExxonMobil in 2012.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said: "We'd like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high.

"Our revenue grew 30% over last year to $74.6 billion, and the execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal."

Apple announced shortly after the smartphone's release in September that it had sold ten million units in its first three days of sale, which was a company record. 

It went on to break another company record at the end of last year's third quarter by confirming sales of more than 40 million.

Mr Cook said in a conference call with analysts that demand for the phones was "staggering" and results would have been even higher if not for the impact of the strong dollar on overseas sales.

The company sold 21.4 million iPads, which was down 22% from a year earlier.

Some experts have suggested that the launch of the new iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 and the lowering of the original iPad mini price could see a return to growth for Apple's tablet.

The new models also helped Apple increase its share of the China market.

The company does not give iPhone sales by country, but a report published by research firm Canalys estimated that Apple sold more smartphones in China during the last quarter than any other maker.