Europe will lead on growth

For HP, at least

Europe could become the dominant IT marketplace, beating even the US. That's how Hewlett-Packard CEO Lewis Platt sees the situation. Taking questions after a speech given at IDC's European IT Forum in Paris yesterday (see HP's Lew lays down Lew's Laws), Platt admitted he was pinning his hopes for HP's success on Europe following a downturn in the company's US business. "The US is actually starting to cool. You will see in the next few months pretty widespread examples of the US cooling off," predicted Platt. At the same time, emerging markets, once seen as the source of superior growth, are weakening. "Korea is an excellent example," said Platt. "We grew from zero to a billion dollars faster there than we have ever grown to a billion dollars in any other country. [But] there's no way we're going to do $400 million in Korea this year -- a 60 per cent drop in sales." However, in contrast, Europe is looking very positive, said Platt. "The best news right now comes from Europe," he added. "Europe is the growth leader for our company and we hope that continues to be the case for the next couple of years until we get things straight in Asia." ®

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