Local PC manufacturer, Optima, has pulled its earnings back into the black, reporting a net profit of $29,000 in the six months to December 31.
The figure was an improvement on the $236,000 loss reported in the previous corresponding first half. However, the company's first half revenues dropped from $45.2 million in the first half of 2005 to $41.6 million in 2006.
Chairman and managing director, Cornel Ung, attributed most of the revenue decline to its retail business. While still selling PCs through the sector, he claimed it was no longer working with tier one retailers and that it now represented less than 10 per cent of revenue. Instead, the company continues to focus on its own 3Cshop initiative.
Other market segments contributing steady revenue were the government and education sectors. Recent rollouts included desktops, notebooks and accessories to the ACT Department of Education and Training, as well as product to the NSW Department of Education and Training for its Technology for Learning (T4L) project.
Ung said it had significantly restructured its operations to improve gross margins, retrenching about 20 per cent, or 25-30, of its full-time staff across Australia. The company now retains 120 full-time employees, as well as 30-40 casual staff. No further staff cuts were planned, he said.
Optima was also making investments into new business areas, appointing product managers to assist in further expanding its digital home range and 3Cshops, he said.
Ung was optimistic about its second half results, pointing to a rollout of 4000 PCs for the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority over the next 3-4 months. It also expected significant business in the coming financial year with the next phase of the T4L program.
"Our key focus will continue to be on education and government business where value-added services are required," he said.
Ung denied industry rumours Optima was up for sale and said it was pursuing acquisitions in the retail space. It hoped to make an announcement in the coming months. He declined to elaborate on the prospective parties, but said they could either join its 3Cshop initiative, or run under their own branding.