Hewlett Packard's UK operations are outperforming the global company, which may be forced to cut jobs in its Asia-Pacific operations following a poor third quarter.
The company is considering making a limited number of cuts from its 25,000-strong workforce in the Asia-Pacific region following a 13 per cent decline in revenue in the region in US dollar terms.
Overall in the third quarter, compared to the same period last year, profit increased one per cent to $621 million while revenue grew five per cent to $10.97 billion. However Joe Edwards, UK managing director, said the UK was the star performer at present and he expects no change in the size of the 5,500-strong UK workforce.
"Global results in terms of orders and net profit were disappointing. They were largely down to the Far East. The UK has done pretty well - European revenue is up around 10 per cent and the UK is stronger than that," he said.
The Unix business was going very well he said, although he admitted Sun was proving a really strong competitor. Figures from analyst company Dataquest, out this week, show thar Sun has grabbed the number one spot in the overall UK Unix and NT server market with 26 per cent market share for the first half of 1998.
Edwards noted that the V-class server was selling strongly and claimed HP UK was still outselling Sun in that midrange Unix server market, despite very rapid growth in sales of Sun's Enterprise server running Solaris over the last year.
HP has no plans to follow Sun's new pricing model that has been so successful in the low end server segment, one of the weak areas in HP's third quarter results. Sun last year began changing its list pricing on certain ranges, removing much of the discountable element.
"We have not considered that model. We have found our product set has been highly competitive and we haven't seen the need to discount like Sun has," said Edwards.
HP has recently overtaken IBM in PC sales in the UK which Edwards described as a "remarkable turnaround". The global PC company has only just returned to profitability however and analysts say the battle against high inventories and low margins may not be over yet.
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