HP has announced financial results for its financial year, which ended on 31st October 2012. Net revenue was down 5% year-on-year to $120.4 billion (£75.6 billion), with the company making a $12.7 billion loss. Last year, HP made $7.1bn profit.
Meg Whitman, HP’s president and chief executive officer, said “As we discussed during our Securities Analyst Meeting last month, fiscal 2012 was the first year in a multiyear journey to turn HP around. We’re starting to see progress in key areas, such as new product releases and customer wins. We’re particularly pleased that in Q4, we were able to improve our balance sheet, generating $4.1 billion in operating cash flow, and we returned $384 million to shareholders in the form of share repurchases and dividends.”
The company noted that it had recorded a one-off charge of approximately $8.8 billion related to Autonomy in the fourth quarter; $5 billion of this was “linked to serious accounting improprieties, misrepresentation and disclosure failures discovered by an internal investigation by HP and forensic review into Autonomy’s accounting practices prior to its acquisition by HP”.
It’s issued a statement that reads: “HP is extremely disappointed to find that some former members of Autonomy’s management team used accounting improprieties, misrepresentations and disclosure failures to inflate the underlying financial metrics of the company, prior to Autonomy’s acquisition by HP. These efforts appear to have been a willful effort to mislead investors and potential buyers, and severely impacted HP management’s ability to fairly value Autonomy at the time of the deal. We remain 100 percent committed to Autonomy and its industry-leading technology.”
HP says it’s referred the matter to the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s Enforcement Division and to the Serious Fraud Office in the UK. It’s also preparing court action “ against various parties”.