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HPE results boosted by new orders rush

A rush on new orders to avoid HPE price hike, along with some help from Oracle, has helped to boost revenue

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has reported full-year revenue of $27.8bn, a 3% increase on its previous year filing.

It reported net revenue of $7.4bn, up 7% sequentially, and annualised revenue run-rate (ARR) of $796m, up 36% from the prior-year period. Based on strong customer demand and growth in orders, total as-a-service orders were up 114% from the prior-year period. The company’s revenue was also boosted by $2.2bn of after-tax proceeds, arising from a payment by Oracle following judgment in the Itanium litigation.

Intelligent Edge revenue was $815m, up 4% from the previous year. High Performance Computing & Artificial Intelligence (HPC & AI) revenue was $1.0bn, up 1% from the prior-year period. Storage revenue grew by 3% to $1.3bn while Compute revenue was $3.2bn, up 1%. Orders of HPE’s GreenLake as a service line increased by 46% year on year. There are now 1,250 Greenlake customers, and the product line contributes $5.7bn to the company’s bottom line.

Discussing the financial results, Antonio Neri, president and CEO of HPE, said: “In 2021, we accelerated our pivot to as-a-service, strengthened our core capabilities, and invested in bold innovation in high-growth segments. As our customers continue to demand greater connectivity, access to solutions that allow them to extract value from their data no matter where it lives, and a cloud-everywhere experience, HPE is poised to accelerate our market leadership and provide strong shareholder returns.”

During the earnings call, posted on the Seeking Alpha financial blogging site, Neri was asked about whether the company’s boost in new orders was being driven by customers trying to get in ahead of price increases or to work around extended lead time. In response, Neri spoke about market demand driven by the recovery in the economy. He said he expects adoption of the company’s edge-to-cloud offering to accelerate in 2022.

According to Neri, demand will be driven by telcos deploying 5G using HPE’s Intelligent Edge products for their retail, manufacturing and hospitality customers, and SaaS companies choosing HPE’s as-a-service offerings.

Looking at price increases, HPE CFO Tarek Robbiati said the average unit price of HPE equipment increased by 3% during the year, due to what he said was “price hikes of commodities and logistics costs coming up by way to expedite fees and container costs”.

Robbiati said the company’s edge-as-a-service offerings delivered triple digits year on year. “We delivered a multimillion-dollar network-as-a-service deal in Q4 for a large US customer,” he added. This contract, involving  a significant deployment at a large US retailer, accounted for 8% of Aruba’s revenue in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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