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PC sales in the toilet? Excuse Lenovo while it gut laughs at you

Our profits are up 34%, says tech titan, how's your biz?

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Chinese PC sales juggernaut Lenovo rolled into town with another set of double-digit growth numbers for its fiscal Q3 as rivals continue to scratch around for what they can get.

The firm hasn't yet toppled HP from the top of the global PC market but sales were up 12 per cent to $9.4bn and profit rose 34 per cent to $205m for the quarter ended 31 December.

Still not a great return for the size of the turnover, but this is a commodity market and it's worth pointing this was the thirteenth consecutive quarter Lenovo has outgrown the market.

PC shipments worldwide were up nearly 8 per cent in the quarter and the smart mobe, slablet and smart TV biz - grouped by Lenovo under "PC Plus kit" - grew 77 per cent.

The "Protect and Attack" strategy developed four years ago underpinned its improved fortunes, said Lenovo chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing.

This strategy is designed to safeguard Lenovo's dominant position in China and the global commercial PC sector, and help it make aggressive moves in the emerging markets; the global consumer space - where it has trailed the pack; and PC Plus.

Lenovo estimated that the attack strategy had accounted for half of its revenues up from around one-third back in 2009.

The Chinese biz this month restructured as the Lenovo Business Group, which will flog commodity gear, and the Think Business Group, which will dangle premium kit in front of Apple fanbois.

This led to some speculation that the IdeaPad brand will be phased out over time, though a spokeswoman at Lenovo told us "we have not announced any changes to our branding strategy as part of there business realignment".

Geographically, Lenovo turned over $4.1bn of sales in China (43 per cent of global sales), up 17 per cent year-on-year, and sales in its Asia Pacific and Latin America regions were up 11.3 per cent to $1.7bn.

EMEA sales grew 17 per cent to $2.3bn and revenues achieved in North America grew 8 per cent to $1.3bn.

Compare this to HP, which saw sales in its Personal Systems division for fiscal 2012 ended October drop 10 per cent on the previous year to $35.6bn.

Things seemed to be moving in the right direction for HP in fiscal Q4, but sales were up by just 1 per cent to $8.7bn.

Texan PC baron Dell saw its mobile PC revenues slump by a fifth in its fiscal Q3 to $3.52bn as desktop sales fell 8 per cent to $3.13bn.

Meanwhile, Gartner's Q4 prelim data for kit shipped into the channel showed HP declined 0.5 per cent but boosted its market share to 16.2 per cent as its rate of decline was slower than the market average.

Breathing down its neck, Lenovo grew 8.2 per cent to take 15.5 per cent market share up from 13.6 a year earlier. Dell sales dropped by 20.9 per cent and its share slipped from 12.2 per cent to 10.2 per cent.

Asus was the only other vendor in the top five to post growth: 5.4 per cent to be precise. ®

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