Intel ups profit to beat doom-tinged forecasts

Bomb-proof Intel reported a 17 per cent increase in third-quarter profits, posting net income for the three months to September of $3.47bn (£2.2bn), up from $2.96bn last year, leaving soothsayers flabbergasted.

Global demand for PCs and laptops may be slackening off, but that's no cause for concern for the chip maker, whose shares rose four per cent on the back of its latest numbers.

While Inte's mature western markets are stagnating, there are plenty of PC-less folk in the growing markets in China, India and beyond. The news that Lenovo has emerged as the second-biggest PC make in the world may have miffed US rivals such as Dell, Intel remains ambivalent on the matter - so ling as someone's shifting traditional PCs and not those new-fangled tablets, Intel will churn out the chips to stick in them.

"Emerging markets are good, enterprise is strong, the mature market consumer is a little bit weaker," said Intel chief financial officer Stacy Smith in a statement.

The firm reported full-year revenue of $43.6 billion, operating income of $15.9 billion, and a net income of $11.7 billion, which it says are all record-busters .

Corporate IT spending held up, despite the sagging economy, boosting sales of Intel's high-margin server chips, Smith said.

Intel thinks its Ultrabook for-factor and the introduction of Windows 8 will help keep it floating alog nicely over the coming year. CEO Paul Otellini reckons Ultrabooks will account for 40 per cent of the consumer PC market by the end of next year. If that comes true we'll get the editorial assistant to eat our hat.