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February 11, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:08pm

IBM UK SEEKS TO HIDE HEALTHY FIGURES

By CBR Staff Writer

Seen IBM UK Ltd’s figures for 1996 yet? No? Well you’re in good company because it appears that neither have Reuters or the Financial Times. In the past, the company has always given them to the Financial Times first, but this year, although they were published on January 29, almost nobody seems to have seen them – and just one paper at VNU Business Publications Ltd had a short item. It’s not as if they are embarrassingly bad, either – pre-tax profits jumped a healthy 25% to 269m British pounds and revenue advanced 11% to 5.12bn. At the net level, profits were in line with sales – up 11% at 248m pounds. Hardly the kind of numbers you’d prefer to hide under a bushel. The company usually breaks down the proportion of business done in the UK and that going for export, but those numbers are becoming a little embarrassing given the number of plants that have been closed around Europe, leaving some country operations in luxurious surplus while others are plunged into inglorious deficit on their trading accounts. No-one seems to stay long in the top job at IBM UK any more, and Khalil Barsoum has been drafted in from running IBM Canada Ltd to take over from Barrie Morgans, who is leaving the firm.

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