UK storage distributor Ideal Hardware has announced a 28 per cent leap in interim pre-tax profits. For the half-year to 1 November, the company reported profits of #3.75 million on turnover up 24 per cent to #75.5 million, from #60.8 million in the same period last year.
The company - which distributes storage products for over 30 manufacturers including Seagate, Fujitsu and Hitachi and sells to about 8,500 resellers across the UK - has made a number of investments and changes over the past six months to take advantage of rocketing growth in the storage market. Industry analysts are predicting that data storage sales will grow twice as fast as any other sector of the computer industry between now and 2000. They estimate that the European storage market, currently worth $6.6 billion, will be worth $22 billion by the millennium.
Among the investments made to plan for this growth, Ideal will be opening a new, purpose-built 70,000-square feet warehouse early in the new year. It has also set up an Internet-based decision support system for customers, centred around Profile, the company?s online catalogue.
James Wickes, managing director of Ideal, said: ?One of our problems is that we are tagged by margins. The Internet gives us an opportunity to go after business we have currently walked away from.? Wickes was cautious about the company?s plans to expand into mainland Europe and said the Internet would be the best way to begin creating a market presence there.
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