Gartner: Professional PC sales in U.K. returned to growth in Q4

Consumer PC sales dragged down U.K. PC market overall
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The professional PC market in the U.K. returned to growth in the fourth quarter after two consecutive quarters of declining sales, despite an overall decline in PC sales in the quarter, according to the latest stats from Gartner.

Overall, PC shipments in the U.K. totaled 3.1 million units in the fourth quarter, down 0.7 percent year-over-year due to slower consumer PC shipments. For all of 2012, U.K. PC shipments declined 3 percent to 11.7 million units.

In Western Europe as a whole, the professional PC market declined 4.9 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter, much less than the home PC market, which dropped 17.6 percent year-over-year. The decline in the professional PC market was less pronounced because of replacement PC sales, judged Gartner.

"The PC market in Western Europe is in a downward spiral. In 2012, it experienced the second consecutive year of decline, but less steeply than in 2011, when the PC market in Western Europe decreased 14 percent. The second consecutive yearly decline indicates that the issues the PC market faces are beyond a weak economy, a poorly understood new operating system, or Ultramobiles being priced too high to generate demand," said Meike Escherich, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Hong Kong-based computer maker Lenovo climbed into second place in the professional PC market in Western Europe with a 4 percent sales increase in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Success in Europe propelled Lenovo to its best quarter ever. The firm posted $9.4 billion in sales for its fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31, a 12 percent year-over-year increase.

Lenovo shipped 14.1 million PCs in the quarter, a 7.9 percent year-over-year increase, giving it a 15.9 percent global PC market share, according to IDC data. It posted earnings of $205 million for the quarter, an increase of 34 percent over the same quarter last year.

The PC maker is diversifying its base from the PC market, acquiring U.S.-based cloud provider Stoneware in the quarter.

It recently realigned its product development and supply chain organizations to create two new groups: the Lenovo Business Group, which focuses on PCs, mobile Internet and digital home products, and the Think Business Group, which focuses on Think-branded products targeting high-end consumers and enterprises.

For more:
- see Gartner's stats
- check out Lenovo's financial results

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