China’s Lenovo posts about 29% net profit jump

The company has been expanding into mobile technology as the traditional PC market cools and consumers increasingly go online using phones and tablets

Paul Crompton
Paul Crompton - Al Arabiya News, Beijing
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Chinese electronics giant Lenovo - the world’s largest PC maker - reported on Wednesday about 29 % jump in full-year earnings, netting a record $817 million profit for the first 12 months to March.

In addition to strengthening its pole position in its PC business - extending global market share to 17.7% - Lenovo also sold 50 million smartphones and 9.2 million tablets for the fiscal year.

The firm now hopes to sell “over 100 million” smartphones by next March, company executive Liu Jun told reporters in Beijing.

Lenovo also hopes to shift 15 million tablet devices in the same time period, having sold 9.2 million previously.

As well as its plan to lead in each of its businesses worldwide, the firm also reported success in the Middle East region.

“We had a great year of growth in all the [countries] in the Middle East, and in fact, in 2014, this year, you’ll see us push into a number of key markets,” Aymar de Lencquesaing, Lenovo’s president for Europe, Middle East and Africa told Al Arabiya News on Wednesday at one of its offices in the Chinese capital Beijing.

Since the launch of its Android smartphone range in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates last year, the firm’s market share has gone from “zero” to “double digits,” he said.

Lenovo’s tablet business - which is modest compared to its PC and smartphone sales - has also seen a growth in the region, according to Lencquesaing.

“The tablet business had grown very well, it’s actually one of the bright stars of the region,” he added.

During the first three nights to December, revenues from the Europe, Middle East and Africa region markets beat revenue earned in Lenovo’s own stronghold of China.

Lenovo has expanded into the smartphone business to offset a decline in its personal computers (PC) sales as users switch to mobile phones.

In January the firm signed two deals worth $5.2 billion in total to buy IBM Corp’s low-end server business and Google’s Motorola.

However, what could be China’s biggest technology deal, is still awaiting approval from authorities on both sides of the Pacific.

“We still haven’t signed the contract with them, but pending to the approval of the governments - the Chinese government and the U.S. - hopefully we can close that [deal] in a few months,” said Jun, who serves as the firm’s executive vice president for its Mobility Business Group.

One of Lenovo’s motivations to buy the struggling Motorola - which has in recent years seen itself outmatched by rivals Apple and Samsung - is to gain its access to desirable markets and technology.

Motorola’s Research and Development unit, for example, is on the firm’s “major valuable assets,” the Chinese giant hopes to make use of, according to Jun.

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