Lenovo profits more than double for fiscal year

Lenovo wants it LePad tablet to grab a 20 percent market share in China

Reporting strong growth as it expands into emerging markets, Lenovo said Thursday that for the quarter ending in March its net profit more than tripled, reaching US$42 million, while revenue increased 13 percent to $4.88 billion.

Lenovo reported that PC shipments for the quarter increased 16 percent compared to the same period a year earlier, compared to an overall industry decline of 1.1 percent.

The company, China's largest PC maker, also reported strong earnings for this past fiscal year, with profit more than doubling, according to an earnings report released on Thursday.

The company's net profit increased to $273 million, up from $129 million in the previous fiscal year. Revenue reached $21.6 billion, increasing from $16.6 billion. At the same time, the company saw PC shipments grow 28 percent from the previous year.

During an earnings webcast, Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing credited the growth to the company's strategy of protecting its home turf in China, while expanding into regions with developing markets like Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa.

Lenovo generates 46 percent of its sales in China, which is set to become the world's largest PC market for sales in 2013, according to research firm IDC. Globally, Lenovo is the fourth largest PC maker, behind Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Acer.

In the past year, the company has also moved outside its core PC business and made efforts in mobile products like tablets and smartphones, establishing a new Mobile Internet and Digital Home business group.

Lenovo plans on releasing new tablets for the U.S. and selective markets in the coming months, Yang said. Previously, the company said it will release its LePad tablet worldwide in June.

In China, the company had already launched a smartphone device called the LePhone. Then this March, Lenovo launched its LePad tablet in the country. The company's sales targets for these products are "ambitious," Yang said. In China, the company wants to double its smartphone sales, and grab 20 percent share of the tablet market, he said.

Lenovo COO Rory Read said feedback for the LePad in China has been "quite strong." The tablet has been tailored for the Chinese user, by providing a Chinese language interface and applications native to the country. This sets it apart from other tablets in China market, which have the fundamental weakness of not being designed for local users, Read added.

Currently, Apple's iPad has a 78 percent share over China's tablet market, according to Beijing-based research firm Analysys International.

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Michael Kan

IDG News Service
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