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January 22, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:30pm

LOSS OF PC ARM STILL LEAVES HOLE BUT NCR CREEPS INTO PROFIT

By CBR Staff Writer

Reporting its first set of figures since being released from Ma Bell’s shackles, NCR Corp said it made progress during the fourth quarter of 1996 in cutting expenses and boosting gross margins, and was focused now on bolstering revenues and margins for the coming year. Chairman and chief executive Lars Nyberg said the company achieved its 1996 goal of break-even operating results on flat revenues in its core operations. The company also said its gross profit margins rose 7.2 percentage points year-over-year to 30.1% in the fourth quarter, but this was aided by a provision for restructuring in the fourth quarter of 1995 and the release of restructuring reserves in the fourth quarter 1996. NCR blamed the slump in revenue primarily on its decision to pull out of the mass market personal computer and the entry-level server businesses. Geographically, fourth quarter order increases were led by substantial gains in the Asia-Pacific region and by very good gains in the Americas. NCR ended 1996 a very strong balance sheet thanks to a generous leaving present from Ma Bell: it has $1.2bn in cash and debt of just $76m. At December 31, the firm employed 38,600 people, including contractors.

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