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November 3, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

InterTan UK, part of the group spun off by Tandy Corp as an independent quoted company to look after its retail businesses outside the US, has announced the arrival of five new micros for the UK market. Announced in the States back in July (CI No 982) the machines include an 8086 model, two 80286 models, plus two 80386 models, including the IBM PS/2-compatible 5000 MC. Based in Forth Worth, Texas InterTan Inc operates in Canada, Australia, the UK and mainland Europe selling a range of domestic electronics products through company-owned, joint venture, dealer and franchise outlets. After a disastrous first fiscal year resulting in a loss of $12.6m, the company has managed to turn things around and reported a net profit of $23.8m in 1988. The turnaround involved the closure of unprofitable units in many countries, including all InterTan-owned companies in West Germany. However Walsall-based InterTan UK’s 234 company-owned stores and 206 dealer outlets were described as the shining star of ’88 and accounted for 15.8% of group turnover. Improved gross margins, coupled with a 33% increase in turnover, produced a 127% increase in profits, and the company is forecasting a further 28% increase in growth in the UK this year. Sales outlets increased by 28 during the year, mainly on a one-by-one basis, but the board is on the look-out for a suitable retail chain. Canada, by far the biggest market, had its best ever year and was responsible for 49.2% of turnover. Australia posted an 85% increase in operating profits, mainly due to improved margins, and represented 12.6% of total turnover. France saw turnover rise 24% but turned in an unspecified operating loss, while turnover in mainland Europe was down 4%. According to InterTan computer sales now represent over 10% of total turn over, and is by far the fastest-growing area of business. Though spun off from Tandy InterTan is an independent company, and moved up to a listing on the Big Board of the New York Stock Exchange only last Tuesday. As such it is in a position to sell other manufacturers’ hardware but predictably states that it is quite satisfied with the range supplied by Tandy. Prices for the 8086 based 1000SL range from UKP695 to UKP1,200: the two 80286-based machines, the 1000TL and 3000NL, start at UKP895 and UKP1,500 respect ively, rising to UKP1,395 and UKP2,245: the 80386-based 4000 starts at UKP3,300, rising to UKP4,300, while 80386-based Micro Channel 5000 starts at UKP4,500, rising to UKP5,500. Ships start this month except for the two 80386 boxes, which are not due until after Christmas.

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