Lenovo Group Ltd, the world's third-biggest maker of personal computers, said a potential United States economic slowdown won't affect its ability to gain share in the consumer market.
The Chinese company plans to introduce laptops for individual buyers in the US, Russia, France and South Africa from January, repeating its success in China, India and Southeast Asia, Chief Executive Officer William Amelio said in an interview in New Delhi.
"The consumer segment will still grow," Amelio said while attending the India summit of the World Economic Forum. "It's going to be the first to slow, but it's still going to grow and we still have an opportunity to take share and expand in the US and other mature markets."
The maker of Thinkpad laptops, whose stock has more than doubled this year, turned to retailers including Office Depot Inc in the US to ward off slowing demand from businesses and help sustain earnings growth, Bloomberg News said. Sales of PCs to consumers are growing three times as fast as to firms, researcher IDC said.
"The improvement in Lenovo's earnings this year is mainly due to cost cuts, but the challenge is to grow the top line," Joseph Ho, at Daiwa Institute of Research in Hong Kong, said before the announcement. "Any downturn in the US economy will hurt technology spending by businesses, especially the financial companies."
Raleigh, North Carolina-based Lenovo, which moved its headquarters to the US after acquiring the PC unit of International Business Machines Corp in 2005, at present derives most of its sales outside China from business clients.
Lenovo is the market leader in Asia, with a 21.3-percent share.
(Shanghai Daily December 5, 2007)