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August 19, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 6:48pm

ILION ABANDONS OLD PERSONA AS IT NOTCHES UP PROFITS

By CBR Staff Writer

Persona Group Plc has drawn together all the threads of its recent acquisitions and renamed the entire company ilion Group Plc in an effort to boost name recognition. In the half year to June 30, the Chessington, Surrey distributor of networking, communications and Unix products has posted net profits up 53.7% at 2.2m pounds on revenue that rose 35.6% to 88.3m pounds. Chairman Wayne Channon emphasized the group’s continuing strategy of dealing only with networking’s big names, and with the addition of IBM Corp and Cabletron Systems Inc, ilion now claims to represent the top five global networking companies as a European distributor. The addition of these two companies alone necessitated investment in 4m pounds worth of stock to cover the new product ranges, stretching ilion’s working capital resources and taking the group into a negative cash position. Future strategy will focus on maintaining operating profit margins in the 4.5-5.0% range. By focusing on net and not gross margins, ilion hopes to lead market price cuts and put pressure on the smaller distributors while maintaining profits through cost control. But be careful not to use a capital I for ilion, otherwise the new corporate identity starts to take on a Lion type slant, and ilion wants to avoid associations with rival distributors Aslan Group Plc. The directors have recommended an interim dividend of 2.0 pence, up 18%.

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