This excerpt taken from the HPQ 10-K filed Jan 14, 2005.
Enterprise Storage and ServersSupplemental Combined Company Information
We present a supplementary discussion of ESS combined company results below.
ESS's combined company net revenue declined 5% in fiscal 2003. The net revenue decrease in fiscal 2003 was 10% on a constant currency basis. The favorable currency impact was due primarily to the weakening of the dollar against the euro. Overall, segment net revenue in fiscal 2003 continued to be impacted unfavorably by competitive pricing pressures, product roadmap transitions and cautious enterprise IT spending across all business units and most geographic regions.
The components of weighted average net revenue growth by business unit were as follows for the fiscal year ended October 31:
The combined company net revenue decline for many business critical server products in fiscal 2003 reflected competitive pricing as well as constraints on enterprise capital spending for large purchases. Low-end and mid-range UNIX net revenue declined during the period, offset in part by strong growth in high-end UNIX servers due to continued strength in Superdome products. NonStop server net revenue declined in fiscal 2003, reflecting weak spending in the telecommunications and financial services industries. Product roadmap transitions in tape libraries due to our exiting the OEM business and decreased sales of legacy arrays, offset in part by a mix shift toward EVA products, drove the storage net revenue decline in fiscal 2003. Unit sales of industry standard servers increased in fiscal 2003 and more than offset the net revenue decline attributable to lower ASPs and a mix shift toward low-end servers. Despite unit declines in our NetServer products due to the post-acquisition roadmap decision to discontinue this line of servers, total industry standard server units grew approximately 9% in the period due to strong worldwide shipments of our ProLiant servers.
Combined company earnings from operations as a percentage of net revenue were 1.0% in fiscal 2003. In fiscal 2003, the operating loss improvement of 3.0 percentage points was due to a 1.7 percentage point decrease in operating expenses as a percentage of net revenue and a 1.3 percentage point increase in gross margin. Cost savings achieved through workforce reductions and continued cost control measures, offset in part by an unfavorable currency impact, drove the decline in operating expense as a percentage of net revenue in fiscal 2003. The gross margin improvement in the period reflected primarily cost reductions resulting from the Compaq acquisition in the storage and industry standard server businesses, coupled with a product mix shift within business critical servers and storage. An unfavorable mix shift from low- and mid-range business critical servers toward lower-margin industry standard servers moderated the gross margin improvements during the period.