Dell profits fall as battle rumbles on

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Dell, the subject of a takeover battle between activist investor Carl Icahn and the company’s billionaire founder, has reported a 79 per cent slide in profit as personal computer sales continue to shrink.

The disappointing results lend weight to Michael Dell’s effort. The man who started Dell from a college dorm wants to take the world’s No.3 PC maker private for $24.4 billion (£16.1bn), arguing that its transformation into a provider of enterprise computing services, from mainly a computer maker in a shrinking market, is best done away from public scrutiny.

Reflecting that shift in focus, Dell said that revenue from enterprise solutions, services and software jumped 12 per cent to $5.5bn, while overall revenue slipped 2 per cent.

Icahn dismisses Michael Dell’s go-private deal as too cheap for a company trying to become a major provider of enterprise computing.