Despite the dip in STC Plc’s share price following an analysts’ visit to ICL last week, those actually on the trip were comforted and tremendously reassured by what they saw and heard on the trip. Apart from the new machines – and the promise of more to come – brokers were told about the company’s plans to increase productivity by 15% this year while reducing costs by 10%. They were also told that UK sales are running 15% ahead of last year. On the product front, the challenging new Series 39 models, which ICL reckons put it well ahead of both IBM and DEC in the price-performance stakes, are just the start of plenty of other good things on the way from the company now that it has extended the semiconductor and manufacturing agreement with Fujitsu Ltd in Japan. There is still plenty of life in the top-end ECL Model 80 CPU, and new multiprocessor versions are set for launch next year. And beyond that there is a new top-end machine, being developed under the code-name Essex, that will use the same chip technology as will Fujitsu’s answer to IBM’s forthcoming Summit machine.