Hewlett-Packard has cautioned that printer availability may continue to be tight until the start of January but that it should have freed up by the time a concerted refresh kicks in next year.
The firm admitted in a fiscal Q4 conference call with analysts that the Imaging and Printing Group had supply issues that contributed to a year-on-year fall in sales, a downward trend that was also evident across the rest of its hardware and software businesses.
The channel has suffered from HP supply issues for some months and CEO Mark Hurd finally acknowledged this, confirming it is still trying to clear orders and hoped to have "caught up" in fiscal Q1.
"The only thing that [this] will depend on is what the order rates are, if they continue to be as strong as we've seen, there will still be some backlog issues at the end of Q1," he said.
The corporate PC refresh has been talked up by Dell on several occasions and while this will be important to HP, Hurd reckoned there is also "an important printer refresh coming".
Revenues for the period ended 31 October fell 8% to $30.8bn but thanks to cost cutting and a higher margin services mix, profits went up from $2.1bn a year ago to $2.3bn.
Services turnover hit $8.9bn, up 8% on last year but Enterprise Servers and Storage sales fell 17% to $4.2bn, the Personal System Group dropped 12% to $9.9bn, HP Software went down 16% to $967m and IPG fell 15% to $6.45bn.
For HP's fiscal first quarter, it estimates sales of between $29.6bn and $29.9bn and for the year $118bn to $119bn.