Sales of hand-held computers have buoyed 3Com's second-quarter results, after its systems products suffered a 12 per cent fall in sales from the previous quarter.
Turnover for the quarter ended 26 November was $1.47bn (£900m), down four per cent on the same quarter a year ago. Operating profit excluding one-off items was $131m, against $133m a year ago. Sales of hand-held computers increased by half on its first quarter.
Eric Benhamou, 3Com's chief executive, said: "We continue to make progress on all key fiscal 2000 objectives: refining our strategy, transforming our growth profile and streamlining operations."
Benhamou pointed to recent progress in 3Com's e-networks strategy with the acquisition of US Internet business consultancy Interactive Web Concept to bolster its e-business consulting services, and its global alliance with US Web/CKS to jointly develop and market Internet products.
Benhamou also said he was pleased to see 3Com gaining momentum in several emerging high-growth markets, including wireless GSM products, LAN telephony and broadband cable and DSL modems.
3Com recently sold its manufacturing operations in Utah and announced plans to build a supply chain integration centre in Dublin. By decreasing inventory levels and reducing its cash conversion cycle to 28 days, cash and short-term investments grew to more than $2bn during the quarter, it said.
3Com has also begun shipping its HomeConnect products, co-branded with Microsoft, which connect computers at 10Mbps using phone-line jacks. The technology is based on the forthcoming HomePNA 2.0 standard.
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