Lenovo posts record profit on smartphone sales

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HONG KONG (AP) — Computer maker Lenovo’s annual profit rose 29 percent to a record high as smartphone sales surged in China and other markets.

Lenovo said Wednesday that smartphone shipments during the year jumped by nearly three-quarters to 50 million on strong demand in China, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, almost matching the 55 million PCs sold in the same period.

The company has been expanding aggressively into mobile technology as the traditional PC market cools and consumers increasingly go online using phones and tablets. The company bought Google’s Motorola Mobility smartphone business for $2.9 billion in January.

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Lenovo, based in Beijing and in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, reported profit for the year ended March 31 of $817 million or 7.88 cents a share. Revenue grew 14 percent to $38.7 billion.

Revenue at its smartphone division nearly doubled to $5.7 billion as deliveries in China grew by about half to 44 million and shipments in markets outside of China jumped 11-fold to 6 million. Tablet sales quadrupled to 9.2 million.

The company said it was the world’s fourth biggest smartphone maker, with global market share edging up to 4.6 percent

Laptop sales rose 10 percent to $17.9 billion while desktop computer sales edged up 5 percent to $11 billion.

Sales in China, its biggest market, were flat at $14.7 billion. Sales in the Asia-Pacific region overall grew 12 percent to $6.2 billion and in Europe, Middle East and Africa they were up 27 percent to $9.6 billion. In the Americas, sales grew nearly a third to $8.2 billion.

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