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February 1, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Norsk Data yesterday reported its most disappointing set of results to date with pre-tax profits down 44.9% at $35.4m. The Norwegian company puts the decline in profits down to budgeting for costs which would reflect a turnover that was never achieved. Revenues actually rose 22.9% to $427.4m. An inability to predict the future was very much blamed for Norsk Data’s poor showing. After winning a contract to sell the 500 Series of minicomputers into India it fully expected them to be upgraded to 5000s but this was not to be. And when Matra in France began concentrating on Sun Microsystems and Encore Computer products another valuable outlet began to fade. The US switch to the F18 fighter from the F16 and the stock market crash were also put forward as defence. Despite the share price falling dramatically from UKP25 at its peak last year to around UKP5 at the time of today’s announcement, one analyst commented that Norsk was doing no worse than many companies who experience phenomenal growth for the first few years then go into a decline. With a substantial order book and the European computer market doing well on the whole he reckons things can only get better. More cautious watchers say it is too early to say how Norsk will fare. It intends to get back on its feet by concentrating on five key markets: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, West Germany and the UK – and on the niche product lines like printing systems that have proved the most successful in the recent past.

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