HP profits beat forecast, up 5 per cent

First results since Leo Apotheker became chief exec

Hewlett Packard (HP) has reported a 5 per cent rise in profits because of strong growth in its core personal computer business on the back of increased shipments.

The company reported profits for the quarter ending October 31 of $2.54bn (£1.6bn), or $1.10 a share, up more than 5 per cent from $2.41bn, or 99 cents a share, a year earlier.

It is the company's first results announcement since appointing Leo Apotheker as its new chief executive.

"We have remained intensely focused on building our strong position, and I think our results today are further proof of it," Apotheker, who took over as chief executive at HP from rival SAP on 1 November, told reporters in a conference call.

Revenues at HP rose 8 per cent to $33.28bn from $30.78bn. Net income per share excluding items also beat forecasts, at $1.33 compared with an expected $1.27.

The company's new chief executive intends to continue an acquisition growth strategy begun under his predecessor. He said he plans to focus on research and development, apart from restoring stability and confidence in the company's leadership.