IBM Q4 net income up 4 pc at USD 5.5 bn

Technology giant IBM has posted a 4 per cent increase in net income to USD 5.5 billion for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2011, helped by higher revenue and robust growth in the software and services segments.

The company registered a net income of USD 5.3 billion in the October-December quarter of 2010, IBM said in a statement.

Total revenues grew by 2 per cent vis-a-vis the year-ago period to USD 29.5 billion in the quarter under review.

"We had a strong fourth-quarter performance, capping a year of record earnings per share, revenue, profit and free cash flow," IBM President and CEO Ginni Rometty said.

"We delivered outstanding results in all four of our strategic initiatives for the quarter and the year as we continued to realise the benefit of our long-term investments in growth markets, business analytics, Smarter Planet solutions and cloud," Rometty added.

IBM's revenues from the software segment rose by 9 per cent to USD 7.6 billion, while revenues from the systems and technology segment, or hardware, fell by 8 per cent to USD 5.8 billion. In addition, the global technology services segment's revenues grew 3 per cent to USD 10.5 billion.

In terms of geographical locations, BRIC countries -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- were the best performing markets for the company during the quarter, with revenue growth of USD 10 per cent.

In addition, Asia-Pacific revenues increased by 2 per cent to USD 6.7 billion, while Americas fourth quarter revenues stood at USD 12.5 billion, an increase of 3 per cent, and revenues from the Europe/Middle East/Africa rose by 1 per cent to USD 9.6 billion.

IBM registered a net income of USD 15.9 billion for the year 2011, up 7 per cent in comparison to the preceding year. Revenues for 2011 totalled USD 106.9 billion, an increase of 7 per cent compared to 2010.

Looking ahead, Rometty said, "We are well on track toward our long-term roadmap for operating earnings per share of at least USD 20 in 2015."

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