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Intel revenues fell in 2013 due to flagging PC market

But the Windows XP transition helped in the fourth quarter
Fri Jan 17 2014, 12:14
Intel Haswell 4th generation Core i5

CHIPMAKER Intel posted a one percent drop in revenues for 2013 due to the flagging PC market.

Intel announced total revenue of $52.7bn for 2013, one percent less than the $53.3bn it posted in 2012.

Rather tellingly, revenues at Intel's desktop division suffered a larger slump of four percent in 2013 compared to a year ago. Intel also turned a net profit of $9.6bn for the year, down by 13 percent from $11bn in 2012.

Evidently, the company's overall decline in revenue is down to the struggling PC market that saw poor sales of desktop and laptop PCs last year.

However, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich claimed that there were signs in the past few months that the PC sector was "stabilising", with the firm's figures mirroring this trend. The firm posted a three percent increase in revenues to $8.6bn, or about £5.2bn, in the October to December quarter of 2013 compared to the prior year.

Krzanich said, "The PC Client Group was down four percent for the year but the business began to stabilise and actually grew a bit in the fourth quarter, achieving all-time record [Core] i5 and [Core] i7 [processor] unit shipments. The desktop business was particularly strong in [the fourth quarter], growing 11 percent over last year."

He added, "Some of the contribution to fourth quarter was the XP transition. We don't think that was the only thing. As I said, it was - a lot of the growth came from desktop. The desktop was largely enterprise in the mature markets. That really, we think, has to do with a lot of great form factors that are coming in the all-in-ones, the great innovation that's coming in there."

PC sales have fallen for six quarters in a row, hurt by the growing popularity of tablets and smartphones.

Analyst outfit Gartner revealed in its fourth quarter 2013 preliminary worldwide PC report last week that a total of 316 million PCs were shipped 2013, down 10 percent from the same quarter the previous year.

"Sales were equal to 2009's shipment levels, but the rate of decline was the worst on record," the research firm said.

As a result, semiconductor manufacturers like Intel have been looking to boost sales in other divisions, such as mobile, to try and sustain their growth.

Krzanich underlined the firm's commitment to getting its chip architectures into tablets, as it looks to take market share away from rivals like ARM licensees.

"We've established a goal to grow our tablet volumes to more than 40 million units. With an emphasis on the value segment, after finishing 2013 with more than 10 million units and a strong book of design wins, we're off to a good start," he added.

It seems that Intel is doing just that. The company stole the show at CES in Las Vegas earlier this month, with the chipmaker boasting some innovations and technologies that will feature highly in products over the coming year. Such technologies should create growth areas for the firm as it tries to offset the impact of the struggling PC market. µ


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