The EMEA server market limped to the end of "another poor year" as Q4 figures showed sales continuing to regress to less than the levels posted three years ago.
According to Gartner figures, server revenue in the region dropped 7.4 per cent annually to $3.8bn (£2.5bn) for Q4, with all but one of the top five vendors posting a decline in sales.
Research director at Gartner Adrian O'Connell claimed that all three EMEA sub-regions saw annual revenue contract in Q4.
"EMEA was once again the weak spot for global server sales. Each of the three EMEA sub-regions saw revenue contract, with western Europe declining 7.9 per cent, eastern Europe 7.3 per cent and the Middle East and Africa region down 3.7 per cent," he said.
"Without the strong growth of the hyperscale segment that is benefiting the north American markets, or the continued macroeconomic growth of emerging regions in Asia-Pacific, EMEA is more exposed to the global weakness of enterprise spending on server infrastructure."
In EMEA, IBM closed the gap on HP in terms of revenue market share, with IBM's share in Q4 growing 1.7 points year on year to 32.7 per cent, while HP's fell from 34 per cent to 32.9 per cent in the same period.
For Q4 in EMEA, nearly all of the top five vendors posted a decline in revenue, with only Fujitsu experiencing annual revenue growth, posting an annual sales hike of 16.7 per cent to $247m.
HP's revenue dropped 10.3 per cent to $1.3bn year on year in Q4, while IBM's revenue fell 2.3 per cent to $1.2bn over the same period. Oracle's revenue slumped by a third to $163m during the quarter.
The poor fourth quarter for EMEA was worse than 2009's performance, according to O'Connell.
He said: "The fourth quarter 2012 in EMEA ended another poor year for the market with revenue levels falling to a level lower than those in the fourth quarter of 2009.
"This year is likely to be more positive, but it will remain a fiercely competitive environment. The vendors most exposed to declining high-end segments will face the biggest challenges."
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