Lenovo CFO says forex hurt the PC-maker's Q3 earnings but smartphone sales in India, EMs was strong

Foreign exchange fluctuations were Lenovo's biggest headache in the third-quarter, Wong Wai Ming, chief financial officer at the world's biggest PC maker, told CNBC.

Wong, who is a member of CNBC's Global CFO Council, said that other than the greenback, currencies were depreciating in both mature and emerging markets. This was a problem when earnings from outside the U.S. were reported in U.S. dollars, he said.

"Lenovo's top 10 countries already account for more than $40 million difference," Wong said.

The Chinese personal computer and phone-maker reported an 8 percent drop in third-quarter revenue to $12.9 billion, on slowing demand for computers and smartphones, even though net profit rose 18.5 percent to $300 million, beating forecasts.

The challenges included the "general economic environment, in particularly the foreign currency issue," Wong said.

Jerome Favre | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Despite slowing demand for PCs, Lenovo held on to its position as the number one PC supplier, with 21.4 percent market share, according to research firm IDC. And Lenovo's smartphone business finally broke even on an operational basis, meeting the company's goal of breaking even within four to six quarters of acquiring Motorola in October 2014. Sales of Motorola smartphones rose 25 percent from the previous quarter, in spite of a tough environment that has caused even Apple's iPhone sales to fall.

Wong told CNBC that the smartphone market was losing momentum globally but "if you really look at emerging markets, it gives you a different picture."

Lenovo was doing particularly well India, Indonesia, Russia and Brazil, he added.

"Super competitive" China was more difficult, the CFO acknowledged. Lenovo had just 3 percent of the Chinese market in the fourth quarter, according to Canalys research cited by Reuters.

"We don't necessarily have the most successful smartphone business in China [but] now we actually have a new management team, we will refocus on our product strength...and get a clear strategy," said Wong.

According to Canalys, Xiaomi is number one in China with 16 percent of the market, followed closely by Huawei and then Apple.

"Lenovo (combined with Motorola) ranks eighth and its smartphone shipments to China declined 65 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter," Jessie Ding, a research analyst at Canalys, told CNBC in an email interview.

Ding added that "while Lenovo is losing out quickly in China because it relies too much on low-end devices, it increased almost 60 percent year-on-year in India, and ranks in third place in India in Q4."

Lenovo's shares tumbled more than 10 percent on Wednesday after it reported its Q3 fiscal earnings. The stock regained some ground on Thursday, trading up 3.48 percent.

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