IBM profit up despite sales drop

IBM New Zealand has maintained its strong trading performance, reporting a 2 per cent rise in net profit to $40.3 million, despite a 10 per cent drop in sales to $386.9 million.

Chief financial officer Lay Chin said the subsidiary was focusing on higher-value, more profitable markets such as cloud computing and business analytics.

Highlights included building a new database for the Ministry of Health that records people's National Health Index numbers, their demographic details and details of allergies or "alerts", and signing a five-year software and support contract with Westpac.

In February last year, IBM opened a service centre at the Unitec Institute of Technology's Auckland campus and announced it would offer part-time work to 120 students on the Westpac contract.

Their work includes developing mobile banking applications for the bank.

Last month, IBM was named the preferred supplier to rent information technology infrastructure to district health boards.

Boards spend $30m to $40m a year on such infrastructure.

Telecom spokeswoman Kate Woodruffe said subsidiary Gen-i was disappointed not to be selected but respected the process and had no plans to challenge the decision.