HP Banks on Digital Printing Presses

Hewlett-Packard Co. Chief Executive Meg Whitman pledged to spend her first year rebuilding the technology company’s depleted balance sheet.

But she faces a problem: Growth is drying up at the company’s longtime cash cow, its printing division, which contributes more than half of the company’s $7.1 billion in annual profits.

As consumers and office workers increasingly rely on digital formats, sales in the print division were flat last year at $25.8 billion. Operating profits declined 10% to $4 billion.

To help speed growth and repair its balance sheet, Ms. Whitman is betting big on 72-foot-long digital printing presses, called Web …

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