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RBR Networks bouncing following increase in turnover

One-time grey importer is now Cisco's new best friend

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Former beté noire of the Cisco channel, RBR Networks, has cited its single-vendor focus as the reason for the increase in its turnover by around 100 per cent. The company’s marketing director, Jos White, said turnover had gone from £26 million to £47 million and pointed to year-on-year growth of 175 per cent over the last five years. "A lot of broadline distributors are in trouble," he said. "We only sell Cisco, so we can be focused. On top of which, we are a young company still hungry for success." RBR was bought in September by South African company Datatec for £25 million. Last month it was handed three awards by Cisco; UK distributor of the year, EMEA North distributor of the year and overall EMEA distributor of the year. The distributor had been grey importing Cisco kit prior to getting its Cisco authorisation in October 1997. "Before that point we were really only a secondary supply channel for Cisco dealers," White said. White was reluctant to reveal the company’s profit figure, but said it made something in the region of £8 million. He also admitted that margins had been squeezed in order to push sales up. "You have to take a realistic view of these things, margins are coming down across all sectors. Also, we’re now selling much more of the low end Cisco kit." He went on to say that new owners, Datatec, are looking to introduce the single vendor model into other European territories next year.®

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