Dell posts surprise revenue rise on booming demand for remote-work tools

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Nov 24 (Reuters) - Dell Technologies Inc reported a surprise rise in third-quarter revenue on Tuesday, driven by buoyant demand for its desktops and notebooks from remote workers and learners during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company said revenue from its client solutions group, which includes desktop PCs, notebooks and tablets, was a record $12.29 billion, up about 8% from a year earlier.

"We met unprecedented demand for remote work and learn solutions this quarter," Chief Operating Officer Jeff Clarke said in a statement.

While the health crisis lifted demand for its remote workstation products, the company's data center business remained under pressure.

Revenue from its data center business fell about 4% to $8.02 billion in the quarter.

Sales at VMware Inc rose about 8% to $2.89 billion. Dell plans to spin off its 81% stake in the software unit to help reduce debt.

Total revenue rose nearly 3% to $23.48 billion in the three months ended Oct. 30, while analysts had estimated a drop of 4.4% to $21.85 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net income attributable to the company rose to $832 million, from $499 million a year earlier. (Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)