IBM saw profits remain steady for its fourth quarter, buoyed by sales from its software segment.
Profits for the fourth quarter grew 4% to $5.5bn (£3.5bn) compared to the same period in 2012, while total sales for the period increased by 2% to $29.5bn.
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IBM's net income for the year ended December 31, 2011 was $15.9bn. This compared with $14.8bn for 2010, an increase of 7%. IBM sales for 2011 reached $106.9bn, an increase of 7% compared with $99.9bn in 2010.
Fourth-quarter profits were driven by the software segment, with pre-tax profits increasing 12% to $3.7bn and total sales growing 9% to $7.6bn.
However, sales from hardware dropped 7% overall for the quarter. Revenues from System Z mainframe server products took the largest hit with a 31% drop compared with 2011.
IBM chief financial officer Mark Loughridge said the results put the company on track for its 2015 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.”
Sales from IBM's key middleware products – which include WebSphere, Information Management, Tivoli, Lotus and Rational products – were $5.2bn, an increase of 11% compare with the same quarter in 2010. Operating systems revenues reach $710 million.