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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 October, 2003, 20:33 GMT 21:33 UK
Intel confirms recovery hopes
Computer chip
Intel sold record numbers of microchips last quarter
Intel, the world's biggest semiconductor maker, has turned in higher than expected profits, helped by record sales.

The California-based firm said net income for the July to September quarter had come in at $1.7bn (1.02bn), or 25 cents a share, up from $686m during the same period last year.

The figure was ahead of Wall Street expectations, with most analysts forecasting earnings of 23 cents a share.

The surge in profits partly reflected a strong sales performance, with revenues climbing from $6.5bn a year ago to a new quarterly record of $7.8bn.

The sales number outstripped Intel's own forecast of $7.6bn, as well as the $7.7bn pencilled in by Wall Street analysts.

Intel chief executive Craig Barrett described the results as "excellent," crediting a strategy of heavy investment over the past two years.

Asia leads recovery

"Our resolve to invest aggressively during the downturn is paying off with double-digit revenue growth and a doubling of profit compared to a year ago," he said.

Intel's bullish results come at a time when investors are anxiously scrutinising corporate earnings statements for confirmation that an elusive economic recovery is finally under way.

The company, which supplies components to most of the world's leading technology and telecoms firms, is seen as a bellwether for the wider technology sector.

Intel said its sales growth during the third quarter was greater than would normally be expected at that time of year.

Intel finance chief Andy Bryant said :"That's the highest third quarter growth rate we've seen in over 25 years. It's well above normal seasonal ranges."

However, developing economies such as China, India and Russia accounted for much of the increase in sales, in a sign that demand in the industrialised world has yet to bounce back convincingly.

"We've always said spending in mature geographies would lag a recovery," Mr Bryant said.

"In the mature economies, it's a little bit slower."

Intel shares, which had closed 28 cents higher, rose another 47 cents in after-hours trade to $31.55.

Intel's chief financial officer Andy Bryant
"We can see things getting better all around the world"

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