Lenovo Posts Record FY 2013 Revenue, Earnings, Shipments

Don’t ask Lenovo about a PC market downturn. And, forget any idea that Lenovo’s consistently stellar results are some sort of illusion.

DH Kass, Senior Contributing Blogger

May 24, 2013

4 Min Read
Lenovo is making all the right moves
Lenovo is making all the right moves.

Don’t ask Lenovo about a PC market downturn. And, forget any idea that Lenovo’s consistently stellar results are some sort of illusion. The Chinese PC maker’s execution—and resulting financial performance—is jaw-dropping, especially in the current PC market, as its PC sales grow while those of rivals Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Dell (DELL) contract.

The most recent evidence is, quite possibly, Lenovo’s most impressive. For its fiscal year ending March 31, Lenovo posted record sales of $34 billion, a 15 percent year-over-year increase, along with a 34 percent spike in earnings to $635 million. Lenovo also posted company records with 52.4 million PC shipments for the year, a 10.2 percent increase, for a high-water mark 15.5 percent share of the global market. PCs represent slightly more than half of Lenovo’s overall revenue.

As if that weren’t enough, Lenovo also put together a record Q4 with $7.8 billion in sales—a 4 percent climb from last year—and a 90 percent spike in earnings to $127 million. Lenovo finished the period with $3.1 billion in cash on hand. Lenovo’s results marked the 16th consecutive quarter the company has beat the industry’s growth rate. Perhaps no other performance proved quite as dramatic as this most recent quarter, when, amid a 13 percent year-over-year decline in the PC industry, Lenovo grew at a 14 point premium to the market, according to the company’s figures.

“Despite a challenging macro-economic environment and ongoing PC industry transformation, Lenovo delivered a strong performance in the 2012/13 fiscal year,” said Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo chairman and chief executive.

Even with its lofty presence in the PC market, Lenovo is among a handful of manufacturers under increasing pressure to develop alternate markets to generate revenue as tablets and smartphones take over the market. Lenovo is the second largest smartphone maker in China behind Samsung but lacks a global presence for the devices and is reportedly headed into the smartphone and tablet chip design business.

Earlier this month, Lenovo walked away from discussions with IBM (IBM) on a multi-million dollar transaction for the Chinese PC maker to buy segments of IBM’s x86 server business, although the possibility exists that talks could resume at some point.

Smartphones, tablets for future growth

As for its mobile business, specifically smartphones and tablets, Lenovo saw significant growth in those product categories as well. Smartphone shipments grew 206 percent in Q4, nearly 100 points better than the overall Chinese smartphone market, while its overall mobile portfolio grew some 74 percent, or 9 percent of the company’s sales.

“Not only were we the fastest growing among all major PC players, with record market share, revenue and profitability, more importantly, our smartphone and tablet businesses saw dramatic growth,” said Yuanqing. “In fact, smartphone shipments were 3.7 times greater than last year globally and we are now number two in the China smartphone market,” he said.

“Going forward, we will focus our investments on the fast-growing tablet, smartphone and enterprise hardware areas, while working to enhance the profitability of our core PC business. We are very confident in our ability to achieve success in these new areas, just as in the PC business.”

For some perspective, according to researcher IDC, global PC shipments totaled some 76.3 million units in calendar Q1 2013 , a 13.9 percent year-over-year slide and nearly double the 7.7 percent downturn the researcher expected. It’s the most precipitous slide PC sales have taken in any one quarter in nearly 20 years, or since IDC began compiling such figures in 1994. The fact that PC sales dumped for the fourth consecutive quarter year-over-year is almost secondary when viewed through the big picture prism.

Researcher Gartner’s figures, while not as gloomy as IDC’s, still portrays the PC industry as one in steady decline. Its figures show worldwide PC shipments totaling 79.2 million units for Q1 2013, an 11.2 percent decline from the first quarter of 2012, and the first time since Q2 2009 that the total has slipped south of 80 million units.

It is amid that market backdrop that Lenovo has posted such results. Go figure.

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About the Author(s)

DH Kass

Senior Contributing Blogger, The VAR Guy

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