Massive fall in profits on the back of charges from the failed WebOS products.

2012 to be HP ‘reset year’ says Witman

HP unveiled a massive drop in net income, down 90 per cent, with new CEO Meg Witman saying "we’ve got some rebuilding to do."

The world number one PC maker said that the firm had surpassed estimates on sales and profits but the earnings per share were significantly below analyst expectations.

CEO Witman cited ongoing challenges in the economy which had depressed sales and the cancellation of the firm’s WebOS smartphones and tablets resulted in over $2 billion in one-off costs.

HP’s personal computer division, abortively spun-off under Leo Apotheker’s rule but then given a reprieve by Witman, saw declines in sales in PC sales, servers and printers. As with other major tech firms, emerging markets such as Brazil, India and China, proved to be growth areas.

Witman said that the firm’s growth in the developed markets such as Europe and North America would be similar to ‘GDP-like growth’, in other words very sluggish at least for the year ahead.

The new HP chief described the new 2012 financial year as a "reset and building year". Witman did appear to echo one aspect of her short lived predecessor by saying that research and development had been subject to excessive cost cutting.

The talk now seems to center on rebuilding HP by working with the existing portfolio rather than the drastic shift towards high margin software and services that marked the theme of Leo Apotheker.

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