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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 November, 2003, 21:47 GMT
Dell's diversification pays off
Dell packing line
PC prices are falling
Dell, the world's second biggest PC-maker, has posted a 21% rise in third quarter profits.

Texas-based Dell's financial results were broadly in line with IT analysts' expectations.

Dell said it made net profits of $677m (401.7m) in the three months to end-September.

Improved sales of servers and data storage systems for the commercial sector lifted revenue to $10.6bn from $9.14bn year-earlier, up 16%.

Smart strategy

Dell's latest financial results showed the benefits of its efforts to diversify its product range.

It has expanded into printers, data storage systems and cash registers in recent years.

In September it announced plans to take the process a step further by launching its own digital music players and TVs.

Dell slashed PC prices in August in hopes of stimulating sales.

PC sales have remained stubbornly sluggish worldwide for the past three years.

Dell specialises in selling inexpensive PCs by shipping direct to consumers, cutting out the retailer.

Price cutting by PC makers has pushed prices down 40% since 1997, according to analysts at investment bank Merrill Lynch.

Dell's third quarter results were released ahead of schedule, coming shortly before the market closed. Its shares bounced upwards before dipping 3 cents to $35.64.

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