IBM charts steady course in 2011

IBM has reported steady fourth quarter numbers today, with netprofit for the three months to 31 December 2011 was up 4% to $5.5bn (£3.5bn) year-on-year, while total sales for the quarter increased2% to $29.5bn. Meanwhile, Big Blue postedfull yearnet income$15.9bn, 7% up on2010's figure of$14.8

IBM has reported steady fourth quarter numbers today, with net profit for the three months to 31 December 2011 was up 4% to $5.5bn (£3.5bn) year-on-year, while total sales for the quarter increased 2% to $29.5bn.

Meanwhile, Big Blue posted full year net income $15.9bn, 7% up on 2010's figure of $14.8bn. Annual revenues were also up 7%, hitting $106.9bn.

IBM's star performer proved to be its software segment pitching in pre-tax profits of $3.7bn and sales of $7.6bn, up 9%. Sales of its key middleware products - including WebSphere, Information Management, Tivoli, Lotus and Rational products - were $5.2bn, while operating systems revenues reach $710 million.

However, sales from hardware dropped 7% overall for the quarter, with revenues from System Z mainframe server products taking the biggest hit, down 31% compared with 2011.

IBM CFO Mark Loughridge said it was a good bet the firm would achieve its2015 roadmap objectives.

"Looking at the fourth quarter we continued to build momentum in software, driven by aggressive growth in our focus areas of smarter commerce, business analytics and storage," he explained.

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