Costs associated with pulling out of the disk manufacturing market led to a 4.4% fall in fourth-quarter earnings at Hewlett-Packard.
Net earnings for the three months ended 31 October 1996 were $648 million (u381.2 million), compared to $676.5 million last year. Net revenue for the quarter was $10.1 billion, a rise of 12% on last year's $9.0 billion.
For the year, net earnings were $2.6 billion, an increase of 6% over last year. HP said without the costs associated with withdrawing from the disk mechanism manufacturing market, full-year earnings would have increased 14%. Net revenue for 1996 increased 22% to $38.4 billion.
Orders for the quarter were $10.0 billion, an increase of 15% over the same period a year ago. In the company's core computer business, orders increased 20% and totalled $8.2 billion.
HP reported strong order increases for NetServers, desktops, PC networking products and Pavilion multimedia home computers. However, demand for mobile PCs was weak.
In the UK, orders grew 20% in 1996, compared to 59% the year before.
John Golding, the subsidiary's chairman and managing director, said: "The 20% growth year-on-year in orders is a remarkable performance given the size of the company, which this year has exceeded u1.9 billion in turnover.
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