Job losses follow Ideal re-org

Kevin Harper leaves Inter-X board

Ideal Hardware is to make "substantial" redundancies and reorganising to cut costs, following a profits warning. The storage distie is disbanding its operational board and replacing it with a smaller, executive board, headed by Ian French, who is now promoted to chief executive. He will report directly to Inter-X boss James Wickes. At the same time, Ideal Hardware co-founder Kevin Harper is resigning today from Inter-X, the holding company for Ideal. He will continue to work as a consultant for new Inter-X subsidiary, The IT Network. Ideal says it will save £2 million a year through the restructure, which will lead to an one-off charge £700,000 for the current financial year. Inter-X said difficult trading conditions in distribution had resulted in "a material decline in margins and profitability since the latter part of April". Extremely disappointing Recent trading for Ideal is "extremely disappointing", and this means group profits for this financial year falling significantly below stock market expectations. But Ideal is still trading profitably and cash flow remains strong, Inter-X says. To keep that way. the Board is "embarking upon a significant restructuring of Ideal in order to produce immediate material reductions in its cost base and improved efficiency of its sales teams." The sales and product management teams will also be restructured. Further details of the job losses and restructure will be announced tomorrow, but redundancies were described as "substantial" by Wickes. Upbeat IT Network On the upside, Inter-X forecasts great things for its new Internet service, the IT Network. Described as a product comparitor database, this service will have more than 100,000 registered members by the time it launches at the end of the month. And committed revenue to date exceeds £650K, Inter-X says. The IT Network is now forecast to break even -- on the operating level in the current financial year and to make material contribution to group profits thereafter". But there's a sting in the tail -- launch costs will now be £500,000 higher than the £3.2 million originally anticipated. But this is due to "overwhelming" response for the service. ®:

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