HP is one of the world's leading technology brands, the global #1 in printers, and joint leader in PCs with arch-rival Lenovo. Until recently it was also one of the leaders in IT services. However, the company behind the brand appeared to have lost its way in recent years as a result of management turmoil and unpredictable changes in the direction of the market. HP reinvented itself in 2002 in a merger with competitor Compaq. Although full integration of what were already two huge businesses seemed at first to have gone smoothly, the enlarged business remained over-dependent on its original printers business for profits. The board certainly thought so, forcing out high profile CEO Carly Fiorina in early 2005. New CEO Mark Hurd demonstrated a firm grasp on the business, knocking rival Dell off its perch as the global #1 in PCs in 2007, and closing the gap with IBM in IT services by buying consultancy EDS in 2008. Yet Hurd too was unceremoniously dismissed in 2010. So was his successor less than a year later, after announcing a proposal to withdraw from the PC market and then signing off on the catastrophic purchase of software developer Autonomy. A slightly different break-up plan was completed in 2015. PC and printer hardware now forms the core of a slimmed-down HP Inc. Services, servers and storage were spun off as separate company Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The computer hardware business remains tough, but HP appears to be holding its own. Overtaken by Lenovo in PCs in 2013, it has since regained lost ground, and the two companies are now neck-and-neck rivals for the top spot with around 23% share each. HP remains the undisputed leader in printers, not just personal printing but also other segments including 3D and industrial printing. It had over 40% of the global printers market in 2018; main rival Canon had around 21%. (Ironically, though, HP also sources the key components for its laser printers from its main rival Canon). Dion Weisler has been CEO since the demerger from what is now HPE. Revenues for ye Oct 2018 were $58.5bn, with net earnings of $5.3bn. Both were the best results since the demerger. "Personal systems" (ie PCs) generated almost $38bn, with notebooks alone contributing $22.5bn. Printers generated $21bn, of which $13.6bn came from ink and other supplies rather than hardware.
Capsule checked 26th April 2019
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Adbrands Daily Update 3rd Dec 2018: A broad recovery in the global computer market underpinned strong results for HP in the year to Oct 2018. Revenues grew by 12% to $58.5bn, with double-digit improvement in both PCs and printers. The best metric of all came from commercial printers where sales jumped 23% year-on-year. Net income more than doubled to $5.3bn, helped by the tax rate changes.
Adbrands Weekly Update 30th Aug 2018: HP's marketing chief Antonio Lucio is moving to Facebook to take over from CMO Gary Briggs, who will retire at the end of the year. Lucio is replaced as CMO of HP by Vikrant Batra, current head of marketing for the main printing & imaging division. HP's chief communications officer Karen Kahn is also being promoted to the senior management team.
Adbrands Weekly Update 19th Jul 2018: New research from both IDC and Gartner suggests that the global PC market enjoyed its strongest quarter for six years. According to IDC, total PC shipments rose 2.7% to almost 62.3m devices, the best growth since 1Q 2012. However the growth was largely confined to the five leading manufacturers, all of whom reported a positive lift at the expense of other suppliers, who suffered a combined 11% decline. HP retained its position at the top of the table, though Lenovo closed the gap slightly as a result of its newly minted joint venture with Fujitsu of Japan. Dell remains 3rd, while Apple showed the weakest year-on-year growth (of just 0.1%) in 4th place. Acer rounded out the top five, with Asus ranked 6th globally. The top six companies alone account for well over 80% of total volumes.
Adbrands Weekly Update 23rd November 2017: HP reported solid topline growth for its most recent financial year, ended October. Revenues rose 8% reported - 9% at constant currencies - to $52.1bn and net earnings were up marginally at 1% to $2.8bn. Perhaps surprisingly, the best growth was from PCs, up 13% year-on-year, including a surprise 18% lift in consumer hardware sales. That delivered a significant bounce from the prior year's multi-year low in PC revenues. The printing business was less dynamic but still solid with revenues up 7% year-on-year.
Adbrands Weekly Update 13th Jul 2017: HP held onto the top spot in the global PC market in 2Q according to latest figures from researcher IDC. It regained the lead from Lenovo last quarter for the first time since 2013. IDC recorded a 3% year-on-decline in total global PC shipments, but HP enjoyed a 6% increase, compared to a decline of almost the same percentage by Lenovo. As a result, the US company widened its lead to almost 23% of the global market, while its Chinese rival slipped back to 20.5%. Dell, Apple and Asus rounded out the global top five, with Acer back to 6th place.
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