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November 26, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

Sevenoaks, Kent-based Erskine House Group Plc has reported net profits for the six months to September 30 up 30% at UKP5m after the UKP1.4m extraordinary gain on the sale of Erskine Office Systems. Chairman Brian McGillivray attributes the decline in turnover to widespread economic malaise that has resulted in a slump in sales in both the UK and the US, in addition to the exclusion of turnover from the sale of Office Systems. He points out that service revenue, which reflects the volume of copies produced on machines under maintenance contracts, increased by a small amount. A breakdown of the three market areas reveals that in the UK, sales dropped last autumn and have not recovered since, McGillivray says, adding that service revenues remain stable. The pattern was similar in the US, he says, with sales flat and lower than last year and service revenue up slightly. He punctuates the gloom with good news on German sales with turnover up by one third from last year. Most of the growth came out of new sales in the east, with Frankfurt also showing a healthy increase in both sales and profit, according to McGillivray. He hopes to increase business in Leipzig and Dresden, recognising that this will increase costs initially. Caution is the keynote of McGillivray’s statement as regards sales, though he is confident that this will change with an upturn in the economy.

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