Technology heavyweight IBM last night reported lower profits in the first quarter following another drop in revenues, this time partly due to the strong dollar.

Earnings for the first quarter slipped 2.4% to $2.3 billion, while revenues dropped 11.9% to $19.59 billion. 

Profits translated to $2.91 per share, nine cents above analysts' forecasts. But revenues lagged projections of $19.73 billion. 

"Our focus on higher value through portfolio transformation and investment in key areas of the business drove continued margin expansion," IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty said in a statement after US markets closed. 

The tech giant said its efforts to build new businesses linked to cloud computing, mobile technology and data analysis were making progress. Cloud revenue rose more than 60%. 

But revenues across the company continued to be challenged, falling for the 12th quarter in a row. 

Services revenue fell 12%, software revenues dropped 8% and hardware revenues sank 23%. 

However, revenues were flat when currency changes and the impact of divestitures were excluded, IBM said.