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Compaq reports Asian sales growth

The company generated $591.1 million in revenue for the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan and China) for the first quarter of this year, a 16 percent jump from a year ago.

SINGAPORE--Compaq Computer generated $591.1 million in revenue for the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan and China) for the first quarter of this year, a 16 percent jump from a year ago.

Last month, the computer maker reported global revenue of $9.2 billion for the quarter, which ended March 31.

Paul Chan, Compaq Asia-Pacific vice president and managing director, said business revenue rose 8 percent. Services revenue was down 3 percent. He did not reveal actual figures.

In local currency terms, he said, revenue outside the U.S. grew by 17 percent. Japan contributed 31 percent of global revenue, Greater China (including Taiwan, Hong Kong and China) made up 6 percent, Latin America 17 percent and Europe 14 percent.

In U.S. dollar terms, Chan said, Malaysia and Indonesia registered sales growth of 49 percent and 46 percent, respectively. Singapore saw 17 percent growth for the first quarter of this year.

He declined to project sales growth for the region for the rest of the year, except to say that he expects "second-quarter sales to be higher than the first quarter."

"We will build on our professional services and overall services segment because this would give us a much better strategic position with our enterprise customers," he said. He added that the company is making sure its products will be accessible to small and medium-sized businesses and that they will be priced competitively.

"We see (the) services (segment) to be a significant growth area for us," he said. "We expect this segment to contribute about 30 percent by the end of next year." Services revenue currently makes up 20 percent of the region's total sales.

He cited India as a strong growth market in the second quarter of this year.

He said Compaq will focus on the broader Internet access market. "I feel that a lot of growth is going to come from wireless mobility devices," he said. "We believe that such devices account for the most rapid growth within that marketplace."

Chan said global handheld sales grew fivefold in the first quarter of this year, driven by the iPaq Pocket PC.

He said demand for PCs is still strong. "Companies would still spend to build their infrastructure, particularly when that infrastructure is critical to their competitiveness and their ability to deliver value to their customers," he said.

Staff writer Anand Menon reported from Singapore.