Dell posts record profit but consumer sales slide

22 Feb 2012
Dell XPS 13

Enterprise revenue helps prop up Dell as consumer sales struggle

Dell's revenue for the past year has held steady, propped up by enterprise clients as profits from consumer sales fell.

For the full year, Dell's revenue was $62 billion, up 1% from last year, while profit was up 27% to a record $4bn.

Much of that success was down to its focus on enterprise. Sales jumped 58% for networking and 21% for storage, but consumer profits fell dramatically, especially in the US.

Consumer product sales were down 2% globally, but profit nearly halved to $39m from $69m the year before.

"Revenue weakness was largely concentrated in the United States, while revenue from non-US countries grew 10%," Dell said.

Dell pinned some of its consumer sales woes on the ongoing hard disk shortage.

“We just didn’t get the mix of drives that we wanted, and it really forced us to sell less configured lower-end systems and prevented us from accessing higher-margin, more highly configured systems,” chief financial officer Brian Gladden said, according to a report in the New York Times.

One success in the consumer market was its XPS line; with sales leaping 103%, the XPS now makes up nearly one in five Dell consumer notebooks sold.

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