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Dell Revenue Rises 18%

Round Rock, Texas — Led by a 29 percent worldwide increase in shipments in its fiscal first quarter, Dell Computer boasted an 18.2 percent surge in revenue for the period, hitting $9.5 billion, up from $8.1 billion year-on-year.

Shipment volumes for the rest of the computer industry dropped an average of 1 percent in the same three months, said Dell.

The company, which posted some healthy three-month earnings figures, due, in part, to “robust” growth outside the United States, enjoyed a 30.9 percent jump in first quarter profit, reaching $598 million, compared with $457 million in the same period a year earlier.

Operating income in the three months, ended May 2, surged 37 percent, to $811 million, up from $590 million in the same period in 2002.

Gross margin in the first quarter climbed 110 basis points, to 18.3 percent, from 17.2 percent year-on-year, indicating the company’s ability to cut costs, while increasing business in a sluggish technology market.

Selling, general and administrative expenses for the first quarter inched up 10 basis points, to 8.6 percent, compared with 8.5 percent in the same three months a year ago. 

Dell reported a slight decrease in desktop share of total net revenue, down 1 percentage point, to 53 percent in the first quarter.

Notebook share held firm at 27 percent in the three months.

The Americas still remained Dell’s primary source of business in the first quarter, accounting for a 68 percent share of total net revenue, down, however, 1 percentage point from the year-earlier first quarter.

The Asia Pacific/Japan region took up the slack, rising 1 percentage point in the first three months, to an 11 percent share of total net revenue.

Dell, which reported strong sales in servers and data-storage equipment, as well as personal computers, expects unit volume to increase about 25 in the second quarter year over year, well ahead of the anticipated 3 percent growth for the remainder of the industry.

Dell also expects a 15 percent rise in second-quarter revenue, to over $9.7 billion.

The company claimed a 31 percent increase in shipments of its Inspiron and Latitude notebook computers in the first three months, which was three times the rate of industry growth without Dell, said the company. 

Dell recorded a combined 28 percent shipment increase of its Dimension and OptiPlex desktop computers in the first quarter, compared with the year-ago period.

It said desktop shipments by other companies were down an average 5 percent in the period.