Olivetti's struggling PC division which announced huge losses in 1995, has hinted at a turnaround by posting an operating profit during February and March, and increasing PC shipments in Europe. It is trying to avoid PC price-slashing by a focus on high-end Pentium sales.
Despite increasing volumes, the PC group made an additional loss for Q1 1996. The Olivetti group lost $1 billion in 1995, mainly due to restructuring charges. Last year the PC business was spun off into a separate unit amid threats of closure. It accounts for just over 20 per cent of sales.
Group chairman Carlo de Benedetti admitted that an alliance with French vendor Bull - which has been widely rumoured - would make sense but no negotiations were taking place at present. De Benedetti said Olivetti was structured in a way that could create partnerships or allow a single unit to be spun off.
The February and March PC sales are the first sign that the Olivetti PC business has regained credibility after years of losses. In 1995 it replaced top management, reorganised its channel, cut staff by 60 per cent and reduced operating costs to under 20 per cent.
Olivetti said it will sell 900,000 PCs this year, up from 720,000 last year.
Chief exec Jens Montanana claims Logicalis performed well despite 'currency headwinds'
All the photos from last night's event, which saw over 600 people congregate at the Hilton London Bankside
Five year deal with Essex NHS Trust will cover 400 sites, including hospitals, clinics and GP practices
18 individuals and three companies walked away as winners at CRN's inaugural Women in Channel Awards last night