Lenovo says quarterly profit nearly doubles

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BEIJING (AP) - Lenovo Group, the world’s No. 3 personal computer manufacturer, said Thursday its quarterly profit nearly doubled on strong emerging market sales.

The results come as Lenovo expands into mobile Internet, competing with Apple Inc. and other foreign rivals, and in developed markets with an acquisition this year in Germany and a joint venture in Japan.

Profit for the three months ending June 30 was $108 million, or 1.11 U.S. cents per share, up 98 percent from a year earlier, Lenovo said. It said sales rose 15 percent from the same period last year to a quarterly record of $5.9 billion and global market share hit a high of 12.2 percent.

Lenovo, which acquired IBM Corp.’s PC unit in 2005, overtook Taiwan’s Acer Group this year to become the third-largest PC vendor, according to International Data Corp.

After spending the past two years focusing on expanding sales, Lenovo is changing strategy to give equal emphasis to profits, said CEO Yang Yuanqing in a conference call with reporters.

“We will continue to invest in capturing growth in emerging markets while focusing on improving profitability,” Yang said.

Lenovo entered wireless Internet last year and has launched smartphones and Web-linked tablet computers in competition with Apple, South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Corp. and Taiwan’s HTC Corp. It unveiled a low-priced smartphone last week to target developing markets.

The company’s tablet shipments in China have lagged behind Apple’s popular iPad but Yang said that was due partly to supply constraints. He said the company is aiming to achieve a 20 percent share in that market within a year.

Lenovo said PC shipments in Africa, Latin America and other emerging markets rose 45.7 percent in the latest quarter over a year earlier.

In China, which provides nearly half of Lenovo’s sales, PC shipments rose 23.4 percent in the quarter.

Shipments in North America rose 30.8 percent while those in Japan were up 14 percent.

In a reflection of Lenovo’s growth in mature markets such as Europe and the United States, they provided $77 million of the quarterly profit, compared with a $9 million loss a year earlier, said chairman Liu Chuanzhi.

“This is a major improvement,” Liu said on the conference call.

Lenovo announced its acquisition of Germany’s Medion AG, a maker of multimedia products and consumer electronics, in June. It said that would make it the second-largest PC vendor in Europe’s biggest computer market.

Also this year, Lenovo launched a joint venture with Japan’s NEC Corp., expanding its presence in the Japanese market.

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