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HP confident of double-digit growth in 2001

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Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina yesterday ruled out bonuses for senior executives - including herself - for the second half of the company's just-completed fiscal year.

The scheme follows disappointing fourth quarter and fiscal 2000 results for the year and the three-month period which both came to a close at the end of October.

Fiorina's 'we're taking responsibility for our actions' move was announced at the company's bi-annual investors and analysts conference. At the same time, she said the company was on track to see 15-17 per cent revenue growth through fiscal 2001, despite the downturn in PC sales that has hit HP, Dell, Gateway and Apple, to name but four. That said, she warned that the current quarter will see growth at the bottom end of that range.

HP's most recent results - they were off earlier projections by around 20 per cent - and the failed takeover of PriceWaterhouseCoopers' IT consultancy wing prompted mutterings that Fiorina may not be quite the saviour she was portrayed as after taking the helm last year from Lew Platt.

"It is a multiyear process," she told the conference audience. "I don't think anyone at HP believed we could take on substantial and systemic change... and have it over and done with in 12 months."

Actually, they did, but refusing her bonus is a way of deflecting such criticism by showing she has a deeper stake in the company's future performance. Analysts and investors love this kind of thing.

Fiorina was confident of success this year. "This is the year when the heavy lifting starts to pay off," she said. While the PC market remians depressed, HP hopes to give Sun and run for its money in the high-end server space - expect 20 per cent growth here, Fiorina said. She also anticipated 42 per cent growth in notebook PC sales and a 26 per cent jump in sales of PDAs. ®

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