The sharp slowdown in China's information technology market has taken its toll on the country's top personal-computer (PC) manufacturer, Legend Holdings. Legend posted a HK$202.55 million pro-forma net profit for the July-September quarter, lagging behind market expectations of about HK$208.9 million. Last year, Legend's second-quarter net profit was HK$175 million on a pro-forma basis before being restated for accounting changes, leaving this year's quarterly net gain at a mere 15.4 per cent. It also represented a sequential decline of 12.8 per cent from the April-June quarter of HK$232.45 million. Only 795,000 Legend computers were shipped in the three months to September, against the company's targeted one million units. Legend recorded only a 10.6 per cent year-on-year growth in PC shipments for the second quarter of its financial year. This was even lower than the overall 13 per cent year-on-year growth rate for the September quarter as reported by International Data Corp (IDC). After reporting two consecutive quarters of slowdown in PC sales, Legend was forced to revise down its full-year target from 3.7 million units to 3.13 million units. Only 1.44 million units were sold in the first six months. Legend reported a HK$434.99 million net profit for the first half, up 27.4 per cent from the previous corresponding period. Turnover rose 9.9 per cent to HK$9.95 billion during the first half. 'When we set our target last year, China's IT [information technology] market was still very hot. However we did see a substantial slowdown in the past three quarters, therefore we have to adjust our strategy accordingly,' chairman Liu Chuanzhi said. Instead of aggressively seeking to increase market share, Mr Liu said Legend would focus on maintaining market share and enhancing profit margins. Legend's gross profit for the first half improved by almost 0.5 per cent to 13.72 per cent. The company announced last week that it would cut more than 500 jobs, or about 10 per cent of its workforce, by March next year. Despite the slower than expected second-quarter growth, Legend still maintained a 30 per cent market share, said Mr Liu. Analysts said Legend's disappointing second-quarter results further confirmed that China's once-sizzling PC market is cooling at a faster than expected rate. The slowdown might continue for another year before any rebound can be expected, said Yang Yuanqing, Legend's president and chief executive. According to IDC data, the growth rate of China's PC market in each of the first three quarters was 48 per cent, 28 per cent and 13 per cent respectively. Due to the slowdown in the market, Legend has adjusted its full-year sales growth target from more than 40 per cent to 20 per cent. Legend shares eased five HK cents to finish at HK$3.025 yesterday. Meanwhile, Legend had spent about HK$180 million buying back 50 million shares in the past quarter, said Mary Ma Xuezheng, senior vice-president and chief financial officer.