Apple supplier Foxconn posts record quarterly profits

Foxconn, the electronics manufacturer famed for controversies surrounding the treatment of its staff, has posted record quarterly profits as products from partner firms like Apple continue to fly off the shelves.

Also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, the company has announced a net profit of NT$37 billion (New Taiwan dollar) from October to December 2012, equating to around £816 million.

It also reported a 16 per cent jump in profit for 2012 as a whole, pulling in NT$94.8bn (£2.1 billion).

With some reports estimating that Apple orders account for almost half of Foxconn’s total revenue, the Taiwanese firm is no doubt benefitting from a soaring demand that saw 47.8 million iPhones and 22.9 million iPads sold during the fourth quarter of 2012.

But the Foxconn profits will lead many to question why the firm does not invest more money into cleaning up its record around working conditions. Among a series of incidents in 2012 alone, watchdog investigations found that labour rights violations “remain the norm” at Foxconn’s Chinese factories, the company admitted it had employed interns as young as 14 years old, and the family of an ex-employee took the firm to court over an accident that left the man brain damaged.

The organisation attracted more negative press at the beginning of 2013, when its management was put under investigation from the Chinese authorities over allegations of bribery.