BEIJING (AP) — Lenovo Group, the fourth-largest personal computer maker, said Thursday its fiscal 2010 profit more than doubled as global demand rebounded.
Profit rose to $273 million, or $2.73 per share, for the year ending March 31, from $129.4 million in 2010, the company announced. Global sales rose 30 percent to $21.6 billion.
Growth was driven by strong demand in China and other emerging markets and a revival in purchases by corporate customers that put off buying new computer equipment following the 2008 global crisis, the company said.
"With the global market environment showing signs of continued growth in areas where Lenovo is well positioned, management is confident that the Group will consistently deliver solid performance," said chairman Liu Chuanzhi in a statement.
Lenovo has expanded aggressively outside China since it became a global brand by acquiring IBM Corp.'s PC unit in 2005. Lenovo got into mobile Internet last year with the launch of a smart phone and two Web-linked portable computers.
In January, Lenovo and Japan's NEC Corp. agreed to combine their PC businesses in Japan in a move that gave the Chinese partner wider access to the Japanese market, where it had only a 5 percent share.
China accounted for 46.4 percent of sales in 2010 or $10 billion, while other emerging markets were 17.9 percent of the total or $3.9 billion, said Lenovo, which has headquarters in Beijing and in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
The United States, Europe and other mature markets were 35.7 percent of sales or $7.7 billion.
Lenovo relied more heavily on the higher-margin corporate market than its main rivals and was hit hard when companies slashed spending following the global crisis. It trails Hewlett Packard Co., Dell Inc. and Taiwan's Acer Corp. in sales but its tie-up with NEC might push the Chinese competitor back into third place once global 2010 results are tallied.
Lenovo says its global market share has risen steadily and reached 10.2 percent in 2010, up 1.7 percentage points from a year earlier.
The company said sales growth moderated toward the end of the year as China and other emerging economies tightened financial controls to cool inflation. It said PC sales would face challenges amid an uncertain outlook for the global recovery, Europe's debt crisis and further tightening of economic controls by China.
It also warned of the threat from the growing popularity of tablet computers.
"The corporate refreshment cycle will continue to help sustain growth in commercial PC demand, while consumer PC demand likely will face continued 'head winds' amidst a weakening macroeconomic environment and cannibalization by tablet products," said Liu's statement.