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No PC slowdown, says Dell

He's not reading from the same script as the CompaQ Three, evidently

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Michael Dell, thirty-something billionaire chairman of a certain well-known PC vendor, has said he sees no sign of a slowdown in the PC market. While sales in Europe were growing slower than in the US, Dell said that sales into Asia were looking particularly strong. He was speaking during a broadcast Q&A from the offices of US brokers Edward Jones. He claimed that Dell is now worth around $6 billion in Europe and that it is now level-pegging with Compaq for the number one spot in the UK PC sales chart. He said that Dell Europe is as big today as the whole of Dell was only three and a half years ago. "In Europe, we have a business that's roughly $6 billion in size. Essentially, in the UK, we're pretty much tied for number one. We actually have more market share in the UK than we do in the US. Our models work better there than in the US. The interesting thing to me is that we've been able to continue growth at a very elevated rate even in a mature, supposedly competitive market." Dell pooh-poohed any notion that the PC market is in decline, casting a poor light on many of his company's rivals in so doing. Of late, Compaq has picked up the nasty habit of blaming poor financials on the supposed fact that the PC market has begun to stagnate. But if Dell is to be believed - and Wall St seems to believe him - something is wrong with Compaq's explanations. "The PC business to me looks like it's alive and thriving. We have a 10 per cent market share globally. We think we can grow that considerably over the next several years," he said. ®

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