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File photo of Lenovo chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing. The company saw its sales rise 35 per cent to $8-billion in the quarter ended June 30.

STRINGER/HONGKONG/REUTERS

Lenovo is close to surpassing Hewlett-Packard as the world's leading manufacturer of personal computers, following a strong quarterly rise in sales.

The Chinese company now has a 14.9 per cent share of the global market, compared with 15.5 per cent for HP, according to figures from IDC, the research company.

Lenovo beat estimates on Thursday with a 30 per cent rise in quarterly profits, as it benefited from a sustained appetite for PCs by Chinese consumers and businesses.

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However even Chinese sales are showing some signs of cooling as the country's economic boom slows. It was Lenovo's slowest profit growth for a year and a half.

Yang Yuanqing, chairman and chief executive officer, said, however, that he was not concerned over China's long-term strength.

"China's macroeconomy has shown some uncertainty because of real-estate bubble controls and weak exports. But from a long-term point of view, I'm still very optimistic," he said.

Lenovo saw sales rise 35 per cent to $8-billion in the quarter to the end of June, while net profit rose 30 per cent to $141-million.

The rises come at a time when the PC market overall has stopped growing, with consumers more interested in spending money on smartphones and tablets than on PCs. Figures from Gartner last month showed a 0.1 per cent decline in overall global sales.

Lenovo, which makes ThinkPad computers, is gaining market share thanks to aggressive pricing and overseas acquisitions as well as strong sales in China. However, profit margins have become very thin within the industry.

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