Lenovo leads growth in PC shipments as overall industry declines
World's largest PC company expected to report record-high earnings on strong shipment growth
Lenovo could set record earnings in its financial year to March after posting the strongest growth among the world's top suppliers of personal computers last quarter, as the overall industry continued to decline.
In separate preliminary estimates released yesterday, technology research firms IDC and Gartner said global shipments fell for the eighth consecutive quarter in the three months to March but showed signs of improvement.
Weak consumer demand was offset by a surge in corporate replacements of personal computers before Microsoft officially retired Windows XP, its 12-year-old operating system, on Tuesday. The software giant has been encouraging a shift to its newer platforms, either Windows 7 or Windows 8.
IDC said Lenovo, the world's largest supplier of personal computers, grew its shipments by 10.5 per cent in the March quarter to 12.96 million units, representing a 17.7 per cent share of the global market.
Gartner calculated a 10.9 per cent increase to 12.91 million units, representing a 16.9 per cent market share.
"Despite a challenging environment, Lenovo has again proven its ability to outperform the market as the clear global leader in PCs," Lenovo chairman and chief executive Yang Yuanqing said yesterday. "We see plenty of room for innovation and profitable growth in PCs and are optimistic about the future of the industry."
Quarterly revenue at Lenovo, which operates in more than 160 countries, sailed past the US$10 billion mark for the first time in the three months to December after it seized a market share of 18.5 per cent, a historical high.
Ricky Lai, an analyst at Guotai Junan International, said Lenovo was likely to report record-high earnings for its financial year.
"Lenovo's PC shipments last quarter were better than expected, with steady growth in large emerging markets such as India and Indonesia," Lai said.
He forecast the computer giant, which has its headquarters in Beijing and North Carolina in the United States, would post a net profit of US$807 million for the financial year, up from US$635 million in the previous year.
Lai estimated revenue would reach a new high of US$38 billion from about US$34 billion in the previous financial year.
Both IDC and Gartner said Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard and Dell achieved year-on-year increases in shipments of personal computers last quarter, while other suppliers struggled.
Sony, once a popular notebook and desktop brand, sold its personal computer business in February to a Japanese investment fund.