Time Computers is continuing to defend its financial status, despite admitting that its credit limit has been "re-apportioned".
Industry rumours suggested that insurance giant Euler Trade Indemnity (TI) has pulled some of Time's credit insurance cover following the market's recent poor performance.
A representative for parent company Time Group said the rumours were inaccurate. "We can confirm that our credit limit has not been reduced overall. [However] we do re-apportion our credit limit from time to time with suppliers, like any other business," he said.
Time sales still remain on target for the quarter, he added.
Euler TI declined to comment on Time's credit status, on the grounds of confidentiality.
Speculation about Time's finances has been rife since reports emerged that the company was in urgent refinancing talks with HSBC bank.
Time also declined to comment on rumours that PwC was helping the company to sort out its finances.
Sandy Fitzpatrick, senior analyst at Canalys.com, claimed that although the PC market in general has slumped, causing high-street names such as Time, Gateway and Tiny to suffer, the long-term outlook is healthy.
"I think one of the main problems suffered by certain retailers is the fact that they have made such a huge investment in opening so many different stores within 100 yards of each other. The cost of maintaining the physical sites is huge," she said.
Fitzpatrick added that this has been their biggest downfall.
According to Canalys.com research, the fourth quarter of 2000 saw 1.9 million PC shipments in the UK, an 8.7 per cent increase on the previous quarter, with Dell gaining the lead from Compaq in the consumer space.
Fitzpatrick said: "Although corporate spending is returning to normal, it is going to take slightly longer for the retail market to catch up. But it will get there - the prospect is not all doom and gloom."
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