Hewlett-Packard's chief executive Lew Platt admitted the economic crash in Asia took HP completely by surprise, with revenue from Korean alone sliding $600 million this year.
Talking at IDC's European Forum, Platt said that after some years of hard work and gradual success in emerging markets, the Asian crash - now spreading to other parts of the globe - had been a sudden shock.
"The thing we didn't understand was how quickly some of the emerging economies in the world were going to collapse on us. In Korea for example a market that did $1 billion at its peak will not bring in $400 million this year...that's $600 million of new sales we've got to find elsewhere just to get zero growth," he said.
Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia and Brazil were just some of the other markets hitting big problems he noted. Even the previously hot US market is starting to cool, and the next few months will see slower sales growth in the US. Only Europe is providing positive sales performance.
"We are trying to get people to reset their expectations. It is hard being a $40 billion company to keep getting 20 per cent growth," explained Platt.
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