Worldwide, the chip maker reported better-than-expected profits and record revenue in the fourth quarter, resulting from robust global demand for its computer chips in laptop, desktop and business machines.
"The Europe, Middle East and Africa region reflected the same global trend during the year with more than 20 per cent growth in business from the region. Factors such as increased demand for mobile computing and growing public sector and corporate sector spending has helped the company to achieve results in line with the global performance," Lacorix said.
For the fourth quarter ended December, Intel earned $2.2 billion, compared with $1.05 billion, in the fourth quarter of 2002. Its sales totalled $8.74 billion, up 22 per cent from $7.16 billion in the previous quarter. Intel's revenue for the whole last year was $30.1 billion, up 13 per cent from 26.8 billion in the previous year.
Its net income increased by 81per cent to $5.6 billion last from $3.1 billion.
In the Middle East, the Gulf markets, particularly the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other leading Middle East markets such as Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan have contributed significantly to the company's revenue growth. Although, the chip-maker does not have sales figures for each of the individual markets in the region, the level of technology adoption in these markets is a good indicator of the company's sales in the region.
"In the Gulf and the North Africa region technology adoption has gained momentum during the last year. In the markets such as the UAE and Lebanon, the initiatives such as e-government and migration to latest generation technologies have boosted computer sales," Lacorix said.
Worldwide, big growth in demand for its chips for mobile computing and the adoption of Itanium-based servers had helped the company to achieve record sales. In the Middle East the company witnessed big surge in sales in these areas last year. "Earlier Middle East used to always lag behind Europe and North America in technology adoption. The latest trends show that some of the markets in the region particularly the UAE is moving at par with the West. The adoption of Itanium servers by the Middle East companies, especially those in the oil and gas sector contributed to our revenue growth last year," he added.
Much of Intel's success last year stems from the heavy investment it made in equipment and research. During the past three years, the company had spent more than $15 billion on capital equipment. Currently, the company is moving ahead with a shift to new technology that further shrinks the size of the smallest features on the transistors. It's updating its flagship Pentium 4 chip as well as its notebook chip, the Pentium M.
In the Middle East and Africa region, the company expects higher sales growth during the current year. "In the Middle East technology adoption is gaining momentum. The initiatives such as the Dubai e-goverment, large investments in computer education, growing Internet penetration and increased investment by small and medium enterprises (SME) is helping to increase computer sales in the region."
"Despite the strong growth in computer sales in the Arab region in the recent years, computer penetration is under 10 per cent and leaves huge potential for growth," he added.
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