US computer giant Hewlett-Packard has reported a 19% fall in quarterly net profit, but its results were better than analysts had expected.

The company, the world's largest manufacturer of personal computers, posted a net profit of $1.6 billion in its third financial quarter compared with $2 billion a year ago. Earnings per share of 91 cents were better than the 88-90 cents expected by analysts. Revenue declined by 2% to $27.5 billion.

HP said revenue grew 8% in the Americas to $12.6 billion, but fell by 12% to $9.9 billion in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Revenue in Asia Pacific was down 4% to $5 billion.

HP said it expected revenue and earnings for the full fiscal year to be in line with the 'mid-point of the outlook range' provided in May, when it said it expected earnings per share of between $3.76 and $3.88.

'Business is stabilising, and we are confident that HP will be an early beneficiary of an economic turnaround and will continue to outperform when conditions improve,' chairman and chief executive Mark Hurd said.

HP said revenue from its services division increased by 93% to $8.5 billion due primarily to its August 2008 acquisition of Electronic Data Systems Corp (EDS). Revenue from enterprise storage and servers was down 23% while software revenue declined 22%.

Revenue at HP's Personal Systems Group declined by 18%. Notebook computer revenue was down 10% while desktop computer revenue declined by 26%. Revenue at HP's Imaging and Printing Group declined by 20%.