IBM has grown its revenue from strategic businesses and in the cloud space, while becoming a major player in the blockchain space.
The company has announced its fourth quarter and full year results, with evenues up 4% to $22,5-billion for the quarter.

“Our strategic imperatives revenue again grew at a double-digit rate and now represents 46 percent of our total revenue, and we are pleased with our overall revenue growth in the quarter,” says Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CWO.

“During 2017, we strengthened our position as the leading enterprise cloud provider and established IBM as the blockchain leader for business.

“Looking ahead, we are uniquely positioned to help clients use data and AI to build smarter businesses.”

James Kavanaugh, IBM senior vice-president and chief financial officer, comments: “Over the past several years we have invested aggressively in technology and our people to reposition IBM.

“2018 will be all about reinforcing IBM’s leadership position in key high-value segments of the IT industry, including cloud, AI, security and blockchain.”

Fourth-quarter cloud revenues increased 30% to $5,5-billion (up 27%adjusting for currency). Cloud revenue over the last 12 months was $17-billion, including $9,3-billion delivered as-a-service and $7,8-billion for hardware, software and services to enable IBM clients to implement comprehensive cloud solutions. The annual exit run rate for as-a-service revenue increased to $10,3-billion from $8,6-billion in the fourth quarter of 2016. In the quarter, revenues from analytics increased 9% (up 6% adjusting for currency). Revenues from mobile increased 23% (up 21% adjusting for currency) and revenues from security increased 132% (up 127% adjusting for currency).

IBM ended the fourth quarter of 2017 with $12,6-billion of cash on hand. Debt totaled $46,8-billion, including Global Financing debt of $31,4-billion. The balance sheet remains strong and is well positioned over the long term.

Cognitive Solutions (includes solutions software and transaction processing software) saw revenues of $5,4-billion, up 3% (flat adjusting for currency), driven by security and transaction processing software.

Global Business Services (includes consulting, global process services and application management) reported revenues of $4,2-billion, up 1% (down 2% adjusting for currency). Strategic imperatives revenue grew 9% led by the cloud practice, mobile and analytics.

Technology Services & Cloud Platforms (includes infrastructure services, technical support services and integration software) –had revenues of $9,2-billion, down 1% (down 4% adjusting for currency). Strategic imperatives revenue grew 15%, driven by hybrid cloud services, security and mobile.

Systems (includes systems hardware and operating systems software) saw revenues of $3,3-billion, up 32% (up 28% adjusting for currency) driven by growth in IBM Z, Power Systems and storage.

Global Financing (includes financing and used equipment sales) had revenues of $450-million, up 1% (down 2% adjusting for currency).