Concurrent Computer Corp may seem to the casual observer to be no more visible now than it was when it laboured under the ludicrous name of Perkin-Elmer Data Systems – or even in its earliest incarnation as Interdata – but that’s not the way it looks from the inside. President and chief executive James Sims has been talking to European analysts and portfolio managers here in London, and had a very upbeat take to tell. He kicked off by asserting to the assembly that the three-fold profits increase for the first half of fiscal 1988 was strong evidence that the Tinton Falls, New Jersey minimaker is growing and has firmly established its own identity in the high-tech marketplace. After the company was spun-off from Perkin-Elmer Corp in 1985 and went public in early 1986 – albeit with 80% or so of the equity still held by Perkin-Elmer – there was a period of sluggish earnings. Now into our second full year as Concurrent Computer Corp, we have attained fiscal independence and all trends are up, Sims said. Other indicators of Concurrent’s growth and improved profitability, he pointed out, are a 15% increase in sales volume and a 14% increase in its overall cash position over the same period last year. Our management’s strong commitment to optimise company resources, and the volume shipment of our Model 3280 superminicomputer are primary reasons for the improving outlook, he suggested. The prospects for continued growth at Concurrent are excellent, Sims declared, because the overall medium-scale systems market – for minicomputers in the $100,000 to $1m range – is increasing worlwide at nearly 10% annually. Moreover, Concurrent’s more specific markets – real-time technical applications and financial services – are growing at 14.8% and 21% per year respectively. The growth strategy at Concurrent, explained Sims, is to continue as a major player in traditional real-time application areas – such as radar detection, traffic control, simulation – as well as to increase marketing efforts in non-traditional real-time applications, such as banking and stockbroking, where the demand for more transactions per second at lower costs is growing rapidly. Further anticipated growth into software markets and into the realm of specialised application processors, also known as supercomputers, will increase growth possibilities, Sims said the company is going ahead with a project to build its own original supercomputer based on a design that was conceived at Concurrent’s local university, the redoubtable Princeton. His discussion of growth prospects is noteworthy in the context of Norsk Data’s woes: the firms have many markets in common. Sims made his comments at the American Electronics Association’s European Financial Conference for US Public Companies. The conference, which is now in its eighth year, enables European portfolio managers and analysts to meet directly with top executives of American-based companies for briefings on financial outlooks and new developments.