Western Digital boosted by notebook sales

Drive manufacturer records a boom quarter, thanks to the popularity of removable storage

The hard disk drive market got another boost on Thursday when supplier Western Digital released a very strong set of sales figures for the last three months of 2006.

Western Digital said that sales were boosted by growing market areas such as sales of removable disk drives for consumers looking to upgrade their home systems.

The company reported $1.4bn (£714m) in sales, with 24.5 million units shipped. Year-on-year growth was very strong with 35 percent more units shipped that in the same quarter the previous year, a 28 percent growth in revenue and a 23 percent growth in net income.

This growth mirrors the performance of other storage suppliers such as EMC, which earlier this week announced a revenue increase of 19 percent in its latest quarterly figures.

According to Western Digital, 42 percent of revenue in the second quarter was derived from what it called "newer market sources" such as notebook PCs, consumer electronics, and Western Digital-branded retail sales. Fifty-six percent came from its traditional market for disk drives build into PCs.

The company also said it shipped 2.7 million 2.5-inch mobile drives and 2.7 million 3.5-inch units for the PVR/DVR [personal video recorder/digital video recorder] market, compared with 1.4 million and 1.5 million, respectively, a year ago.