Optima to continue channel expansion

Optima to continue channel expansion

ASX-listed PC manufacturer, Optima, is looking to add a further 100 resellers across the country but has not set a timescale for the appointments.

The focus will be mainly on regional resellers. Optima’s channel sales manager, Michael Calculli, has a good idea of what he is looking for in those new partnerships.

“We don’t want to put just anybody on,” Calculli said. “Regional resellers need to have been established for some time in the towns where they operate and should be prepared to consider Optima as their preferred brand.

“They must be tech savvy and services must be a big part of their business because we will probably be looking to appoint them as our service agent for that area.

“The criteria is different in capital cities because we do our own servicing. In the cities we are happy to bring in new players and give them a go.”

Calculli said Optima would launch an advertising campaign in July designed to attract new resellers and metropolitan dealers based away from the east coast would also be an attractive proposition.

“If they are happy with HP, IBM or Acer that’s fine,” he said. “But if they are looking for an alternative we will take it to them.”

And while Optima would continue with its policy of dealing direct with education and government customers in the capital cities, Calculli said it would be more flexible in regional areas.

If the channel expansion plans are successful, Optima will have almost doubled its reseller partners to 250. But Calculli said the company still had no plans to introduce a distributor.

“Appointing a distributor is about wanting to be everywhere and we would rather concentrate on growing the relationships we have with resellers,” he said. “If we have a quarter of a reseller’s business, what can we do to get half?

“Many of our partners have been with us for a long time and we want to work with them to grow the bottom line. When they have customers in the shop they can call us and get a decision straight away on what they need. When you go through distribution, you have no idea who your resellers are or what their market is.” Growth during the past year has seen Optima add about 40 staff to its numbers, mainly in production but also in middle management and other areas.

Profit Fall predicted

Optima has announced that it expects profits to fall in the 2004 financial year (FY04). The company blames the downturn on a general slowing of purchases by the NSW government, lower retail sales, price pressure in its major market segments, currency exchange rates and falling Defence orders.

The local vendor predicted it would achieve revenue for the financial year of $114.4 million, with a net profit before tax amounting to $3.7 million.

Profit before tax was just under $4.4 million in the previous financial year.

Optima managing director, Cornel Ung, said in a statement to the ASX that results in the second half of FY04 had been disappointing but that the company continued to build a strong base.

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