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July 8, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

Real Time Control Plc of Watford, Hertfordshire, has reported a pre-tax loss of UKP55,000 for the year on turnover that rose 13% to just over UKP4m. Despite the result, prospects are looking bright for the group: financial director Tony Wheeler says that second half trading performance was profitable and that the company is now over the losses sustained at the interim stage. A particular source of pride is the company’s EPOS business which is very strong at the moment following the marriage of Real Time software with IBM’s 4684 terminal, which the company distributes. This combination of software and hardware has won the company several major business accounts and Real Time reports its largest ever order book at the start of the current financial year. On the basis of this business, Wheeler confidently predicts a return to profitability by the next interim stage. The company’s keyboard business Rotec continues to be a steady earner, having recovered from a negative blip at the interim stage when it suffered from the closure of one of its supplier’s facilities. Real Time was fortunate in its keyboard business in that it did not doggedly pursue volume keyboard production to try and compete with the Taiwanese, who, as Wheeler puts it, shove plastic in one end and get a keyboard out the other end. Alphameric was not so astute and is now paying for its investment in an automated keyboard plant. However, Real Time has not been so fortunate in its attempts to break into the US point-of-sale market. Boston-based Real Time Control Inc made a loss over the year, but Wheeler says that it has products installed in several pilot sites and he expects substantial revenues to start showing through at the end of the calendar year. Nevertheless, he concluded by saying that this is a watershed year for the US operation and if it doesn’t show a profit during 1991, then Real Time must reconsider its position in the US.

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