IBM has reported a one per cent rise in profits for its third quarter, while noting that it was hit by a $320m pension payment.
The company's Q3 profit was $1.8bn, up from $1.79bn for the same period last year. Big Blue said it would have achieved a 12 per cent rise had it not been for the one-off legal settlement fee.
The firm posted turnover of $23.4bn, up nine per cent on the year before. Hardware and storage turnover, including external mid-range disk and tape, grew by 12 per cent to $7.5bn and by 17 per cent to $3.3bn respectively.
Global Services, which represents nearly half of IBM's business, saw revenue growth of five per cent.
Sam Palmisano, chief executive of IBM, said: "We delivered one of our strongest Q3s in recent years. IBM has been gaining momentum throughout the year, and the strength of our integrated business model gives us confidence as we look towards 2005."
Lindsay Nichol, director of the IBM division at distributor InTechnology, said IBM's continuing emphasis on the customer has helped it to increase profits.
"Rather than getting into price wars, IBM is focusing on solving customer problems. It doesn't get involved in price competitions on hardware or storage, and it still provides some great opportunities for the channel," Nichol said.
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