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March 11, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:57pm


By CBR Staff Writer

A 175% increase on revenue marked the end of a successful year of acquisitions which launched UK-based Persona Group Plc into continental Europe on a wide scale. The Chessington, UK distributor of network, communications and Unix products, bought companies in France, Spain and Switzerland to enhance its geographical cover of Europe, increasing the number of countries it trades in to six. November saw the company becoming the sole owner of Madrid-based Top Log Iberica SA after it bought the remaining 20% stake. In December, Persona bought Paris computer training company, Fromalan SA which has been merged into the French division of Top Log Technologies, and Swiss network product distributor Datawave SA. As a result, Persona’s revenue for the year to December 31 rose to 146.9m pounds 122% from 53.4m pounds last year, while profit was up 122.0% at 4.2m pounds, after exceptional charges of 808,000 pounds relating to acquisition costs. Chairman Wayne Channon described 1996 as a breakthrough year with organic growth on the continent up by around 25% and the number of employees growing to 430 from 135. Persona has created an operational board of managers and directors to be responsible for the day-to-day running of the group, in response to the company’s changing geographic status and growth. Channon said that there were no plans to expand into the US commenting that Europe is a big enoungh sandwich for us to chew. Channon said that 1997 will see the company, which distributes all its products through vendors, looking to add principle vendors and seek out more acquisitions. Channon said the business is in a very strong position and he feels very confident about future prospects. The company is proposing a dividend of four pence.

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