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July 15, 1991

TROUBLES IN AUSTRIA CAUSE CPU PROFIT TO PLUNGE TO UKP9,000; CURRENT PERIOD EVEN WORSE

By CBR Staff Writer

CPU Computers Ltd, the Woking, Surrey-based computer peripherals distributor in which the French company SCOA SA has a majority stake, has, as forecast (CI No 1,670), reported pre-tax profits of only UKP9,000 for the year to December 31, down 98% on the previous year, on turnover that rose 24% to UKP75m. Chairman J P Ravanel blames poor trading conditions in the UK and Austria for the breakeven accounts, while grey imports did not help matters. In Austria, Synelec Datensysteme GmbH faced a grim second half, making losses of UKP460,000. The subsidiary has undergone a major review to re-focus the company, and SCOA has put up some cash via a capital contribution to shareholders, enabling CPU to re-capitalise the Austrian Synelec Datensysteme GmbH by UKP700,000. As previously forecast, the board expects the subsidiary to return to net profitability in the current year. The outlook for the group as a whole, however, is bleak, says the chairman. In Germany, Synelec Datensysteme GmbH bore the brunt of worse-than-usual trading conditions and, although experiencing success capitalising on exclusive distribution agreements, the company suffered from competition in the hard disk market and policy changes from suppliers in the second half, so that the profit contribution from these partnerships tailed off towards the year end. The German company is now being restructured to reduce its exposure to single product dependencies. Growth in local area network and desktop publishing divisions was also below expectations, and Ravanel says that he expects an overall loss for the first half of the current fiscal year mainly because of the problems being experienced by the German subsidiary.

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