Capping a year when it reclaimed the title of world's largest PC vendor despite a boardroom scandal, HP has today reported net income of $1.7 billion (£741.4bn) for the fourth quarter, more than four times its mark for that period last year.

HP listed earnings of $0.60 per share for the quarter ending 31 October 2006 on revenue of $24.6bn (£13bn). The strong quarter pushed HP to full year profits of $6.2bn (£3.3bn), far above its 2005 mark of $2.4bn (£1.3bn).

All of HP's six business divisions reported operating profit in the fourth quarter and five of the six reported gains over the year-ago quarter. But results were mixed in HP's Enterprise Storage and Servers division. Revenue grew by just 1 percent for its storage products. Eleven percent growth in HP's midrange EVA storage product line was offset by declines in HP's high-end storage arrays and its tape storage products.

"Our growth profile of our storage business is negatively impacted by our mix toward the declining tape market, " HP chairman and chief executive Mark Hurd said. "We are not happy with our storage growth in the fourth quarter and we need to do a better job of driving top line momentum in the coming year."

Thursday's earnings report comes just one day after ousted HP chairman Patricia Dunn made another court appearance in the HP board scandal case. Dunn pleaded not guilty in Santa Clara County Superior Court to four California state felony charges related to the company's investigation of leaks by HP directors to the news media. She is one of five people charged in connection with the case, in which false information was allegedly used to gain access to private phone records.

Hurd maintains that the board scandal has had no impact on HP's business operations.

Despite that turmoil, the company has performed well in sales, passing its rival Dell to become the world's largest PC vendor. HP hadn't worn that crown for three years. Dell's fortunes continued to fall Thursday, as the company postponed its own earnings call in the wake of a formal investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.