CeBIT-EMC rides out slowdown, 2001 growth on track
By Eric Auchard
HANOVER, Germany, March 22 (Reuters) - EMC Corp. (NYSE:EMC - news), the top maker of information storage equipment, said on Thursday it was insulated from a global spending downturn by unquenchable data demand and is on track to lift sales by 35 percent in 2001.
Speaking at a news conference at the CeBIT computer trade fair, EMC Executive Chairman Michael Ruettgers sought to distance himself from the gloom that has descended on the technology world as fears mount that a U.S. spending slowdown may spread to Europe and Asia.
``We believe that those of us in the storage industry have particularly strong recurring demand (which) will allow us to hit the $12 billion growth target,'' Ruettgers said of the company's growth goals. EMC had sales of $8.87 billion in 2000.
In recent weeks chief executives from Oracle (NasdaqNM:ORCL - news), Cisco Systems (NasdaqNM:CSCO - news), Sun Microsystems (NasdaqNM:SUNW - news) and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HWP - news) have complained that U.S. technology spending appears to have fallen off a cliff. There are concerns that Europe and the Asia-Pacific might soon follow suit.
EMC, which makes the massive storage systems used to manage large corporate data, telephone company switchboards and major stock exchanges, derives the lion's share of its business from the world's largest 2000 companies.
``The Global 2000 executives that I talk to are continuing to invest in information technology,'' Ruettgers said. ``We don't see customers abandoning their investments this year.''
Still, EMC has not avoided a slump in its market value as investors have bailed out of the entire technology sector in droves. The stock, which is down about 70 percent from its year-high of $105, was flat at $35.