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VIP goes Dutch with new office

Manchester-based reseller starts European expansion

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VIP Computer Centre has revealed plans to open its first European subsidiary, spurning industry tittle-tattle that its head is on the block. The Manchester PC components distributor will open an office in Holland by the end of June. Stan Cookson, a director at VIP, said the office would open in Holland within two months. He said this was the first part of a considered expansion plan. He revealed that one person had been poached from a rival business to head up the operation, but refused to name them as they were still working at the competitor. Until now, VIP has traded in several European countries but has not had an office overseas. The distributor also hit out at the mood of negativity in the industry and a series of rumours that have surrounded VIP’s viability. "VIP is in a strong position financially. These rumours that we are in trouble are silly and they hurt. We’re actually growing and making new investments," said Cookson. VIP’s turnover last year was £84.2 million, with £100 million forecast for 1999. Although Cookson admitted the company would achieve this year’s figure "with difficulty", describing the whole industry as "not brilliant at the moment." Three distributors in the north-west of England have gone under in the last few months – Roldec, Memsolve and Pino. ®

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