Revenues rocket for Dell’s first quarter

16 May 2003

Dell has recorded its best-ever fiscal first-quarter operating results, showing high growth in revenue and income, as well as profitability in all product areas and regional markets.

The computer maker has reported revenues of US$9.5bn, a rise of 18pc from US$8.1bn for the same period one year ago. First-quarter net earnings were US$598m, or 23 cents per share, up from US$457m, or 17 cents per share.

Worldwide shipments for the quarter ended 2 May were up 29pc from the same period a year ago; by comparison, volumes for the rest of the industry fell by 1pc on average, Dell claimed. Growth for the computer maker was most noticeable outside the US: a rise of 29pc in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and 40pc in Asia-Pacific and Japan. Operating income in both regions nearly doubled to record levels.

Strength in EMEA was broadly based, with company volume growth exceeding 30pc in 10 national markets. Shipments of the company’s PowerEdge servers in the region rose 31pc, more than three times the rate of the rest of the industry. Revenue from external storage systems grew by 81pc.

In a statement, company chairman and CEO Michael Dell attributed the growth to customer adoption of standards-based enterprise computing.

Meanwhile a spokesman for Dell noted that in the EMEA region the company showed consistent growth across three categories: product type, customer type and country. “It was a unique quarter in some ways,” said Roger Wilson, director of corporate communications. “What we’re putting the success of Dell down to, particularly in the enterprise, is where customers look at opportunities around their total cost of ownership and see the advantages of standardised servers, storage and services.”

He added that the contribution from Ireland was “extremely significant this quarter”. The company’s Limerick manufacturing facility was namechecked by Dell executives as being the most productive and offering the highest quality output of any of its plants worldwide. In addition, the computer maker’s European call centre, located in Bray, also came in for praise for its performance. Figures from the market research firm IDC have indicated that Dell has remained the number one PC supplier in Ireland and is still growing its sales in the country, Wilson said.

In addition, Dell is optimistic about the second quarter of its financial year; the company expects its unit volumes to increase about 25pc year-over-year, ahead of predicted 3pc growth for the rest of the industry. It also anticipates a 15pc increase in second-quarter revenue, to more than US$9.7bn.

By Gordon Smith