RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – William Amelio’s “worldsourcing” plan for Lenovo appears to be delivering dividends.

The world’s No. 4 PC maker announced earnings today in Hong Kong that were 198 percent higher than a year ago. Net earnings hit $171.7 million, or $1.76 per share as Lenovo increased sales, cut costs, and began implementing a global sales initiative targeting consumers as well as small businesses.

Lenovo also said it was selling its mobile phone unit, which is based in China, for $100 million. The purpose is to allow Lenovo to concentrate on its PC efforts.

With a new plant being built in Poland, cost cuts in place and global marketing leading to more sales in the U.S. and other markets, Amelio said in a conference call that the company is in pretty solid shape.

"We have such a good base in other geographies, we have a great way to insulate ourselves from some of the downturn that may occur in the United States," Amelio said in the call.

A former top executive at both IBM and Dell, Amelio has aggressively implemented his “worldsourcing” strategy that has positioned Lenovo as truly a global company. Although most of Lenovo’s business in done in China where most of its operations are based, the company is transforming its image and products to compete more effectively worldwide with HP, Dell and Acer (1, 2, 3 in PC sales).

In addition to dropping the IBM brand from its products a year earlier than required in the deal Lenovo made to acquire IBM’s PC division in 2005, Lenovo recently launched its IdeaPad. That’s a break from the legendary IBM ThinkPad lineup.

Plus, Lenovo is reportedly preparing to unveil a new superlight laptop that will rival Apple’s recent “air” model.

This summer, Lenovo also will receive a lot of exposure at the Summer Olympics in Beijing where it is a major sponsor.

Should Lenovo’s consumer and small business efforts deliver the results Amelio is aiming for, even more growth appears to be in the cards. In fact, one analyst told Bloomberg that retail customers could provide 45 percent of the firm’s sales this year, up from 35 percent in 2007.