Intel profits plummet by 90%

Intel, the world’s fourth largest technology company, saw its fourth-quarter profits fall by 90% because of reduced spending by customers and businesses on computers. Intel, which twice lowered its fourth-quarter sales forecast, says that recession has badly affected the high-tech industry.

It announced that it will not provide a revenue outlook at this time, because of “economic uncertainty and limited visibility”.

The chip maker reported profits of £159.6m from £1.57bn in the last three months of 2008. Intel’s quarterly sales fell 23% from a year earlier to £5.68bn, and it further estimates a sale of just about £4bn in the first quarter of 2009.

Intel says that the massive loss was because of $1bn (£0.68m) write-off in the value of its investment in Clearwire Corporation, a provider of wireless service. The company also blames a rapid slump in demand by PC makers in anticipation of a weak 2009.

Chief executive Paul Otellini says that it is “well-positioned for growth when the economy recovers” and that it will continue to invest in research despite the gloom.

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