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August 14, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

The Persona Group Plc’s interim results for the six months ended June 30 1996 are the first significant set of figures to include the impact of the Chessington, UK-based distributor’s acquisition of European Unix distributor Top Log International SA at the beginning of the year (CI No 2,818) – an acquisition that doubled the size of the company. They show revenue increased 163% to 65.2m British pounds, compared with 24.8m pounds last year, and pre-tax profits up 133% to 3.15m pounds, up from 1 .35m pounds last year. Continued operations showed revenue up 38% to 34.1m pounds. In the UK, the only place where there was a significant overlap of operations, Top Log UK has now been fully merged into Persona. In France, two offices in the south have been closed and operations consolidated in Lyon, which along with a general restructuring of the sales force, cost the company 441,000 pounds as an exceptional item. Persona has expanded its UK networking systems distribution agreements with 3C om Corp, Bay Networks Inc and Cisco Systems Inc; and additionally signed up Netscape Communications Corp, Compaq Computer Corp and Microsoft Corp in France, a coup it hopes to repeat in the UK. The Top Log acquisition has also given Persona Unix-centric outlets in Spain and Belgium which it hopes to expand into the networking arena, plus a small – too small – operation in Germany, the most urgent area for future expansion. In the UK, Persona fights it out with Aslan Group Plc for the pole position in value added network systems distribution, and the Top Log acquisition has made it the number one European Unix distributor, with continuing deals for Santa Cruz Operation Inc Unix, Esker, Oracle Corp, FTP Software Inc and SunSoft Inc product lines. The UK contributed 56% of total Group revenue, France 32%, and Germany, Spain and Belgium together 6%. Chairman Wayne Channon commented that the merger had established a sound platform for our continued European expansion.

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