Dell has knocked IBM from second place in the US PC market, after posting record financial results for the fifteenth consecutive quarter. Citing strong performance in the server market, Dell posted profits of $248 million (#146.7 million) for the third quarter ended November up 71% from the $145 million (#86 million) reported in the same period a year ago. Revenues of nearly #3.2 billion (#1.89 billion) represented an increase of 55% over the third quarter last year. However, the picture is not so rosy in Western Europe, where Dell is still in fifth position overall behind Compaq, IBM, HP and Siemens Nixdorf. "Within (Dell's) own expectations, it's not going as fast as Dell would like," commented Dataquest analyst, Thomas Reuner. Reuner attributed Dell's good performance to strong ties with corporate accounts and an effective direct sales force. Dell's push into the enterprise seems to be working. Reuner estimated that Dell had a growth rate of 65% in the European server segment, making it its strongest sector. John Moore, vice president of finance for Dell in the UK, said the company is moving into the enterprise business segment, the public sector and small businesses. "In the context of Europe, where our share is just 5.9%, Dell has a long way to go," he said. "We believe there's significant scope for continued growth." Despite the company's record results, Dell's stock price dropped 4% on publication of the results due to fears that the company's growth rate is levelling out. Revenues for Siemens Nixdorf, still ahead of Dell in the European PC market, grew by almost 40% last year to #354 million, with new orders rising 70% to #415 million. Profits were #7 million, up 333% from #2.1 million the previous year.
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