IBM Australia's profit falls 60 percent

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IBM Australia's profit falls 60 percent

Cloud, analytics not yet offsetting hardware decline.

IBM Australia's net profit for 2015 fell 60 percent to $53 million as its expanding cloud and analytics businesses struggled to counter the global decline in its traditional hardware and services units.

Net profit for the local arm of the IT giant fell to $53.3 million from $145 million in the year prior, at least partially due to a hefty tax bill of $28.6 million.

It paid just under $8 million in tax in 2014 despite the big profit, after deferring a large portion of the bill.

Total revenue for 2015 fell slightly from $3.52 billion to just over $3.5 billion.

IBM Australia had $2.4 billion in total current assets at the end of 2015, while its total liabilities sat at just under the same figure.

The financials follow similarly disappointing results in 2014, when IBM Australia posted a 37 percent drop in net profit for the full year, and revenue fell by $594 million.

Earlier this month, IBM's global operation posted its worst quarterly revenue in 14 years and its 16th straight quarter of decline.

Revenue for the company fell 4.6 percent to US$18.7 billion (A$24 billion) in the first quarter.

IBM has been working to refocus away from its low-margin traditional hardware and services businesses in favour of more lucrative revenue streams in cloud computing and security.

However the strategic shift has yet to offset the decline in its traditional segments, with global revenue from "strategic imperatives" like cloud and data analytics growing 14 percent in the first quarter, while its hardware revenue fell 22 percent.

IBM Australia has been contacted for comment.

Update 3:15pm:

IBM Australia said its emerging businesses now accounted for 36 percent of its local revenue, compared to 22 percent in 2014.

"Our strategy is resonating with our clients, and we continue to invest in this market with the opening of the Watson client experience centre last October," a spokesperson said.

"IBM’s cognitive and cloud technologies are helping drive Australia’s transformation from assisting students find future jobs to helping citizens connect with government, projects essential to Australia’s future prosperity and international competitiveness."

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