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Distribution turns into Icy Hell for ICL

Quits Compaq, IBM and Fujitsu wholesaling

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ICL Multivendor Computing has quit trade distribution due to falling margins in the industry. The ICL subsidiary closed the Warrington-based operation on Thursday evening. The distribution business, which shipped £60 million of IBM, Compaq and Fujitsu kit last year, has not been pumping out profits in line with the rest of ICL. "Over the years, the distribution business had become less and less important to us," said Eric Roth, ICL Multivendor Computing marketing intelligence manager. "It did not fit ICL's transformation to a services company. And we recognise the fact that margins in computer distribution are extremely low." The distribution business worked from the same warehouse as ICL's reseller business, which is still operating. The company will also continue as a Sun distributor. The 20 sales and administrative staff who worked in the distribution area will be offered jobs elsewhere within the company. ICL, which plans to float later this year, said it would honour all outstanding orders. The closure coincides with plans from rival distie Ingram to raise prices and impose stricter controls on credit and returns. According to the US distributor, vendors were tightening their own policies and Ingram was not able to soak up the costs.® Related stories Computacenter battles to retain BT contract Recyclers call for EU directive to be scrapped

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