*NEWS*HP NEW ZEALAND TOPS $600M PROFITS UP 36%

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*NEWS*HP NEW ZEALAND TOPS $600M PROFITS UP 36%

 user 2008-03-18 at 11:03:25 am Views: 51
  • #21659

    HP NZ sales top $600m, profits up 36%
    Hewlett-Packard
    New Zealand has cemented its position as the country’s largest computer
    hardware supplier, posting a 10 per cent rise in revenues to $602.2
    million in the year to October. Profits were up 36 per cent to $16.7
    million.Chief executive Keith Watson says fallout from the subprime
    crisis is causing businesses to put off some purchasing decisions, but
    consumer demand remains strong and HP is bidding for some “huge deals”
    in the public sector.”Usually what happens in these situations when you
    get a bit of uncertainty — which has been created predominantly by
    subprime debt — is that deals tend to slip and some of the big ticket
    items tend to ‘move out’ and we are starting to see that a little bit
    in our business.”That is probably true in other areas of the economy as
    well, such as housing and, to some extent, travel.”

    Consumers
    are taking advantage of the strong exchange rate and a ramp up in the
    production of lcd flat screen TVs and monitors that “have to be sold”,
    he says.”The consumer market is being fuelled by the fact products are
    so price-attractive right now. People are buying bigger and better
    things.”Mr Watson says last year’s result was underpinned by “strong
    demand across the board”.Consumers were spending up on notebook
    computers to take advantage of social networking sites such as
    Facebook, Bebo and MySpace, but New Zealand still has “quite a bit of
    work to do as a country in the broadband space”, he says.”We have seen
    some changes in the regulatory environment but I don’t think they go
    anywhere near far enough. They are not going to make us competitive
    with other countries by 2010.”We have got to get fibre to the home.
    That will really open up not just business growth but our capabilities
    in terms of remote working as well — we have just got to go a lot
    further, a lot quicker in terms of getting fibre to the house.”Another
    factor behind last year’s strong result was the growing market share HP
    enjoyed in the market for blade servers, used by businesses, following
    the release of its ‘C’ class servers.Hewlett-Packard New Zealand
    employs more than 700 staff. “A very big priority” this year would be
    taking advantage of the acquisitions its US parent had made in the
    software market, such as its US$4.5 billion acquisition of system
    management software supplier Mercury Interactive.