Asian Markets Give Dell Some Respite From Tough Q1

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Dell did better in Asia than in other regions during the first quarter, but there's still no sign that a quick turnaround in PC demand lies ahead, a senior company executive said Friday.

"For Asia, the business performed better than the average for Dell," said Steve Felice, president of Dell's small and medium business unit, during a conference call with reporters.

Asia-Pacific, including Japan, accounted for around US$2 billion of the $12.3 billion in revenue that Dell recorded during the first quarter. Worldwide revenue was down 23 percent over the same period last year, while Asia-Pacific came in slightly better with a drop of 20 percent.

Unit shipments of computers in Asia-Pacific fell about 11 percent compared to last year, but some Dell units performed better than others.

"The consumer business performed the best, with very strong year-over-year unit growth and only a slight revenue decline," Felice said.

Sales to large companies were another story, with this part of Dell's business seeing the biggest decline compared to last year.

"That's not too surprising in that much of the Asia business for large enterprises is heavily dependent on multinational corporate spending out of Europe and out of the Americas," Felice said. "That has been hit the hardest in recent quarters."

While Asia was less affected by the downturn in demand for computers, there is no sign that a recovery is imminent.

"We are seeing signs of stability in China and India, but it's still negative growth," Felice said. "Predicting who will come back to positive growth is still difficult to say. I would venture to say that China has the highest possibility of that because the stimulus package in China appears to be working."

Other Asian markets, particularly South Asia, saw a greater decline in PC demand than China and may take longer to recover. "It's too soon to predict when that will be coming back," he said.

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