BEIJING: Apple, the consumer electronics giant, continues to enjoy rapid sales growth in China, which now delivers 15% of its global revenues and offers considerable room for further expansion.

Speaking on a conference call with analysts, Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, reported that total returns from China hit $23.8bn during the last 12 months.

This constituted an annual increase of 78%, or an additional $10bn, a performance Cook suggested was "really phenomenal when you think about it".

"We continue to see it as a extremely exciting market with more and more people wanting Apple products," he said.

As a result, the country today contributes 15% of worldwide revenues, which reached $156bn in the last financial year. "We're extremely happy with how we've done in China," said Cook.

Upon breaking out data for last quarter, Apple revealed revenues from the Asian nation rose by 26% to $5.7bn.

Among the main drivers of this process was the iPad tablet, which logged a 45% lift in sales year on year. Figures here stood at 44% for its Mac computers and 38% for its iPhone mobile handsets.

One core strategy being pursued by the company in an effort to build on this trend is opening a greater number of retail stores. Apple has eight outlets in China at present, from a network encompassing 390 branches globally.

The corporation is actually lagging behind its target, set in 2010, of running 25 retail stores in China by this year, but it is ramping up its activity.

Cook said: "In China ... we are continuing to invest in our own retail stores there, we continue to expand distribution with channel partners as well."

Elsewhere, the US firm is also seeing corporate interest in its devices increase in China, with Ping An, the insurance provider, the latest group to equip its sales and service teams with iPads.

Data sourced from SeekingAlpha; additional content by Warc staff