IBM's fourth-quarter 2000 earnings are up by 28 per cent on the year-ago figure, the company has revealed.

Of its $25.6 billion revenues, chairman and CEO, Louis Gerstner said: "We had a very solid fourth quarter, which reflects momentum that has steadily been building all year.

"On one level, this momentum is due to strong execution, and we have also increased market-share in many of our strategic product areas."

IBM is part of the AIM (Apple, IBM, Motorola) Alliance and announced in October plans to build a new chip plant in New York, as part of a $5 billion investment to expand global-manufacturing capacity.

Gerstner added: "More significantly, this momentum is a strong affirmation of the strategies we put in place three years ago. Those strategies start with three premises: the marketplace is increasingly driven by services and solutions, not products; the marketplace is now driven by powerful, scalable servers, not PCs; and success will require open, heterogeneous platforms.

"The power of these strategies is very apparent in our results. For example, in services, we started the year with external scepticism fueled by dot-com mania and the boutique services companies. We were not distracted."