Amsterdam Stock Exchange-quoted Unix and Digital Equipment Corp systems house Multihouse NV, Gouda, is beginning to see positive results from its strategy to focus on a limited number of markets, reporting pre-tax profits for 1991 at the equivalent of $1.2m, up from $397,000 the year before. Turnover saw a modest 7.2% rise to $76.8m. Multihouse and its daughter company Multihouse Automatisering NV specialise in providing Santa Cruz Operation Inc Unix and DEC VMS systems to vertical markets such as the public sector, where it is a large supplier of administration systems to the police, and operations management systems to utilities like the Dutch electricity and water companies. It has also developed two Dutch language financial packages, one for IBM Corp, Bull SA and Unisys Corp mainframes, one for DEC VMS and Unix – the latter is soon to be available in English. Multihouse chairman H Jaeken believed the challenge for 1991 was to extricate the company from a number of unprofitable markets as smoothly as possible. We were involved in too many sectors in the past and we have had to start ‘divorcing’ customers. This is not always easy. Thus, the company paid its way out of the hotel information management business, where it had a handful of customers but no prospect of profits with strong, international competition. At the end of 1991, Multihouse employed 627 staff, a figure Jaeken believes will fall to around 560 to 570 by the end of this year. Multihouse says it starts 1992 with an order book 20% fatter than at the start of 1991, and expects profits to rise again. The percentage of revenues its derives outside the Netherlands is also likely to increase on the back of its Unix-based Multilab clinical laboratory software which it sells on Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG hardware in Belgium, Compaq Computer Corp in Luxemburg, and DEC machines in France, where it claims to have 35 hospitals interested in it. It is not selling Multilab to its native market at the moment, says Jaeken, because Dutch hospitals, unlike their counterparts in other countries, continue to run both their clinical and administrative operations on the same system – a tradition Multihouse hopes to persuade them to end.
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