STC Plc seems to have convinced its shareholders that what the company’s chairman Lord Keith of Castleacre euphemistically called the dark days of three years ago are now firmly behind it. Lord Keith – who at 71 was unanimously re-elected chairman told the annual meeting yesterday that the company is on target for even better performance this year – 1987 pre-tax profits were up 40% at UKP188m with turnover up around 6% to UKP2,067m – and expects growth in new areas such as fibre optic technology. In 1985 STC reported a pre-tax loss of UKP11.4m on turnover of UKP1,997m and today STC employs 35,000 staff, down 13,000 following the redundancies of 1985. But this year a relatively sombre shareholders’ meeting – compared with the rumpus over the reorganisation – rubber-stamped the resolutions before it. The company was given the go-ahead for its UKP35m acquisition of Northern Telecom’s UK telecommunications business. Cash payments will be made over the next three years. Despite continuing doubts in some quarters about STC’s long term plans for ICL, the company asserted that the mainframe computer maker features in its long term strategy. STC said the acquisition of Northern Telecom’s operations will strenghthen ICL’s position in Europe by increasing its customer base in the office departmental systems market. So what’s the game plan? STC intends to integrate other manufacturers’ telecommunications products into its managed transmission systems and to expand its telecommunications business in North America and ICL’s information systems operation in Europe.
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