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Lenovo back in black

China's Lenovo, the world's No.4 PC brand, returned to the black in its fiscal third quarter with its best result in six quarters, beating expectations, helped by growing demand in its home market.

The company reported a net profit of $79.52 million for the last three months of 2009, in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Thursday. The profit figure compared with a net loss of $96.7 million recorded a year earlier.

Five analysts surveyed by Reuters gave an average net profit forecast of $43.38 million.

Its fiscal third-quarter net profit rose 50% from the preceding quarter, when Lenovo recorded a number of one-off earnings that helped boost its bottom line.

Lenovo's earnings follow a string of better-than-expected results from technology peers, such as Microsoft, Apple and Asustek, reaffirming a return in consumer and corporate demand.

Lenovo's profit marked a turnaround for one of China's best-known brands, which this time last year posted its first loss in three years and saw its chief executive resign. Yang Yuanqing returned as CEO a year ago. Since then, the company has tried to return to its roots as an emerging markets specialist, after it struggled to integrate Western-focused assets it acquired with its purchase of IBM's PC business in 2005. (Reuters)