Asia-Pacific a standout in HP quarterly results

Our region saw 22% growth from a year ago

HP's latest quartly results show that the vendor is generating an increasing amount of its business outside the US, and theat the Asia-Pacific region showed one of the biggest increases in revenue in the world for the quarter, which ended on January 31.

"We generated 69% of our revenue outside the U.S., with emerging markets driving significant growth," HP CEO Mark Hurd said in a conference call to discuss the results.

Global revenue for the quarter, which ended on January 31, was US$28.5 billion (NZ$35.7 billion), up 13% from a year earlier. Pro forma net income was US$2.3 billion, or $0.86 per share, up from US$1.8 billion, or $0.65 per share, a year earlier.

Using GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles), HP's profit was US$2.1 billion, or $0.80 per share.

Its biggest market continued to be Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where revenue grew 15% to $12.3 billion. Asia-Pacific revenue climbed 22% to US$4.9 billion. Growth in the Americas was a sluggish 8%, generating $11.2 billion.

HP's Personal Systems Group, which produces its laptop and desktop PCs, grew its revenue 24% from the same period a year earlier, to US$10.8 billion, with unit shipments up 27%. Notebook sales climbed fastest, up 37%, while desktop sales climbed 15%.

The division had already been doing well. HP extended its lead over Dell in PC sales last year, according to figures from Gartner. HP ended the year with 18.2% of the market, compared with 14.3% for Dell. The PC market overall grew 13.4%.

HP may find it hard to sustain that growth rate, in part because it has to make comparisons with increasingly successful quarters in the year before, Hurd said. Still, he said, "when you look at 24% growth, I think that's pretty darned strong."

HP's imaging and printing group performed slightly less well, with revenue climbing 4% to US$7.3 billion. Printer unit sales declined by 1% from a year earlier, thanks to weakness in the consumer market. Revenue from supplies, which includes HP's profitable ink business, climbed 6%, however.

Revenue from the servers and storage group climbed 9% to US$4.8 billion. Sales of blades and industry-standard servers were strong, while HP's PA-RISC and Alpha chip businesses continued to shrink. Services revenue climbed 11% year-over-year to US$4.4 billion, while software sales climbed 11% to $666 million.

Hurd says he was pleased with the results overall. He attributed them to successful cost-cutting efforts, the addition of 2,000 new HP sales staff in the past year, and a diverse product portfolio.

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