IBM top executives to forgo bonuses as profits fall

image copyrightReuters
image captionMs Rometty said IBM will continue to invest in high growth areas in 2014

The chief executive and senior management of IBM, the world's biggest computer-services provider, have said they will forgo their bonuses for 2013.

The move comes as the firm reported a 5% drop in sales and 1% decline in net profit for 2013, from a year ago.

Its performance was dented by falling profits in emerging economies - where a slowdown in economic growth in recent years has hurt demand.

Revenues from these markets fell 9% from a year earlier.

The big drop came from the so-called Bric countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - where sales declined by 14% during the year.

"While we made solid progress in businesses that are powering our future, in view of the company's overall full year results, my senior team and I have recommended that we forgo our personal annual incentive payments for 2013," Ginni Rometty, chief executive of IBM, said in a statement.

'Continue to transform'

However, the firm reported better-than-expected results for the October-to-December quarter.

It made a net profit of $6.19bn (£3.75bn) during the period, a 6% jump from a year ago, boosted by higher revenue from software sales.

The firm said it expected its operating profit for 2014 to rise by more than 10% as it looks at new avenues for growth.

"We will continue to transform our business and invest aggressively in the areas that will drive growth and higher value," Ms Rometty said.

IBM recently said it would invest more than $1.2bn (£735m) expanding its data centres and cloud-storage business, building 15 new centres.

That would bring the total number up to 40 during 2014.

Businesses are increasingly leasing data storage, computing power and web-hosting services from a growing number of specialist cloud companies - effectively outsourcing their IT needs to cut costs and improve efficiency.

IBM expects the cloud-services market could be worth $200bn by 2020. It said it had added 2,400 new clients since it acquired Dallas-based SoftLayer.

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