Tulip UK has insisted that it has left its financial nightmare behind, more than a year after the Dutch manufacturer was saved from the brink of bankruptcy.
The UK operation of Tulip plunged into administration when its Dutch parent collapsed last year (PC Dealer, 29 April 1998). But it was bailed out by Dutch investment group Royal Begemann and leased its factory to Ingram Micro for up to 15 years.
Neal Grayston, managing director of Tulip, said the UK operation is expected to record an increase in turnover of 55 per cent for the first six months of the year. He attributed this to the jump in the number of Tulip resellers, which climbed to 300. He estimated that the UK would represent 20 per cent of sales and 25 per cent of profit for the whole group.
Grayston said: "The company suffered in Holland although it's now getting back on its feet. But we survived well in the UK - we lost one account and three resellers. It made me focus on what we needed to do - to target the SME sector, education and local government."
In the education sector, Research Machines (RM) is a prime target for the manufacturer. "We found that we could beat RM on price and service - two things that the education market demands, by using the channel," added Grayston.
He claimed Tulip had increased its market share at RM's expense, with education now representing 20 per cent of sales, compared with one per cent last year.
Industry experts have suggested that the Dutch giant has plans to acquire a notebook manufacturer within the next four months to broaden Tulip's product line. But Grayston refused to comment on the acquisition negotiations.
He also declined to comment on speculation surrounding the future of the Commodore brand, which is owned by Tulip.
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