Remote work shift sees Lenovo earnings surge

Remote work shift sees Lenovo earnings surge

Consumers stuck at home are also spending more on PCs and other smart devices for entertainment purposes

Credit: Dreamstime

Lenovo Group, the world's biggest PC maker, has smashed expectations with a 31 per cent leap in first-quarter net profit, as the coronavirus pandemic spurs businesses to shift to remote work and schools to switch to online learning.

Consumers stuck at home are also spending more on PCs and other smart devices for entertainment purposes, the Chinese giant said.

Net profit came in at US$213 million for the April-June quarter, nearly double market estimates while revenue grew seven per cent to US$13.3 billion.

In particular, China sales surged, climbing 17 per cent while those in Europe, the Middle East and Africa jumped 28 per cent. Sales in the Americas however dropped 9 per cent, hit by a declining demand for smartphones in Latin America and a shortage of components for Chromebooks in North America.

"Chinese government is driving domestic consumption - for sure we should leverage that to grow our business. Last quarter results can prove that we have very strong position in China," Lenovo Chairman Yang Yuanqing told a briefing.

Yang said in a later interview that demand still had far more room to grow in China, where the penetration rate for PCs was still somewhere between 20 per cent and 30 per cent compared to that in the United States of 70 per cent.

He said Lenovo's sales during China's June 18 shopping festival - which is heavily promoted by e-commerce platforms - had doubled over the previous year. "We really see the strong rebound after the COVID-19," he said.

According to research firm Gartner, worldwide shipments of personal computers rose 2.8 per cent in the April-June quarter, as vendors restocked their channels and mobile PC demand increased.

Lenovo retained its lead in PCs with 25 per cent of the market, ahead of HP and Dell Technologies, which had 24.9 per cent and 16.4 per cent respectively. Lenovo shares ended down three per cent, having jumped earlier this week in the lead up to the earnings release on anticipation of a strong performance.

(Reporting by Pei Li; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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