Syquest lets the good times roll

Putting on a brave face?

External storage device manufacturer Syquest claims it is putting the bad times behind it following a 41 per cent increase in sales for Q3 1998. The quarter ending 30 June 1998, saw Syquest sales rise to $44.7 million, up 41 per cent on $31.7 million in the same period last year. This was down from $47.0 million in Q2 98. The former darling of the Mac-based storage market was hit by two finance charges which turned the healthy looking sales into a loss of $42.5 million for the quarter. Syquest brought in an operating loss of $32.6 million, the second was a pretax charge of $9 million. The first, referred to as a 'special finance charge' by Syquest brought in an operating loss of $32.6 million, the second was a pretax charge of $9 million. Earlier this month, Syquest laid off 1,000 employees and halted production at its plant in Fremont, California in a bid to streamline the company and bring costs under control. At the time Syquest said it anticipated increased sales this coming Christmas which, combined with the reduced costs, would help them turn the corner. James Wickes, MD of storage distributor Ideal Hardware, said Syquest was still in a relatively strong position. “The fortunes of Syquest have always been linked to those of Iomega and currently Iomega is out of fashion; it is an over distributed product in the UK and given the opportunity we would rather sell Syquest.” Wickes said that the removable storage market was unlikely to be affected by DVD in the short term. “DVD won't impact on Syquest or Iomega until standards are set - consumers will remain wary of it until that happens.”

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