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PC downturn hits Northamber

Sales, profits worse than expected

Northamber, the pan-UK distie, says that sales will be £20m less than previously expected.

The company is now forecasting full year sales of £300m approx. It blames a "marked downturn in demand" for PCs for the shortfall. Northamber is, historically, IBM and HP's biggest wholesaler in the UK.

It reports that the first three months were significantly improved - but growth declined in April and May was "disappointing". It does not think it can make up the difference in June.

The sales shortfall is partly down to a "marked decrease in prices for current models". This will have a knock-on effect on profits, Northamber warns - even though it reports that "core margins" are up on last year. The group continues to generate cash and a new warehouse will result in significant cost savings.

However a "significant contribution to our pre-tax profits is derived from additional rebates on pre-agreed sales performance. A number of major manufacturers plan product changes over the summer and against this background we may not therefore achieve all the rebates we would normally expect", chairman David Phillips says. ®

You won't find much in the way of rebates in Channel Flannel either - but plenty of stories.

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