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Looking for a 20% growth in the market for monitors and printers in Europe in 1988, NEC UK Ltd is to manufacture the latest additions to the Japanese company’s 24-pin dot-matrix printer range in the UK, and plans to establish a monitors factory somewhere within the European Community by the end of this year. Such an increase in monitor sales – the company has launched four new products this year – will make it viable for NEC to start making the things in Europe, the company says – and it may well also be established in the UK. Currently NEC manufactures its dot matrix printers at its Telford, Shropshire plant although its laser printers are still sourced from Japan. Research and development is also done in Japan, accounting for some 10% of annual turnover at NEC. By locating its plant in Telford, NEC chose the UK as the base for its EEC operations – it also makes integrated circuits for Europe in Livingston, Scotland and has a marketing base in Milton Keynes. The company intends to take investment in its Telford factory to UKP60m, and to be employing over 1,000 by 1990, and this year, NEC expects its UK business to grow by 40%, with 65% of sales going to corporate customers. It has eight show rooms throughout the UK and sells through 40 distributors and NEC printer centres. The company reckons the dot matrix printers market will continue to expand during the next three years – with the 24-pin sector growing by 100% – to 200,000 worldwide while the demand for the low-end, low-quality 9-pin printers falls. NEC said printer sales in Europe are strong, with the UK accounting for about 10% of total revenue and Germany not far behind. The company’s new P6 Plus and P7 Plus printers feature speeds of up to 90 chps in letter quality and 265chps in draft, an 80Kb print buffer enabling the printer to accept up to 40 pages of data and a colour option. They will be available from May 12. The 80 column P6 Plus is UKP600, the 136 column P7 Plus 765 is UKP765. In addition to offices in the UK and Germany last year NEC opened up shop in Italy and Scandinavia.

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CBR Staff Writer

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