Action doubles online business to £50m

Shows off new CEO

Action Computer Supplies saw online sales orders double over the last year.

The UK reseller, which is anxious to shed its image as a mail order IT outfit, said orders through its B2B site action.com reached £50 million for the year ended August 31, with a run-rate approaching £70 million.

Action re-launched its site last November following the collapse of buyout talks with US giant Insight Enterprises.

The company also announced three Internet ventures today, including a scheme to set up "buy-side" Websites to help customers control their e-commerce, and an affiliate marketing programme. It also appointed Massachusets company Be Free third party to audit sales and pay affiliates' commission.

Other announcements from the Middlesex-based company involved the naming of its new CEO - David Palk. Palk is quitting ICL after 22 years, where he was group executive director and MD of ICL's £800 million Operational Services Division. He was also responsible for ICL's business in France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy, as well as its defence business.

He takes over from George LaPlante, who is returning to the US. Action had been looking for a CEO for at least three months - in June it announced LaPlante was leaving, whilst warning investors to expect losses of £6 million for the year ended August 31. Disappointing sales at the start of the year were blamed, along with costs "relating to the remodelling of the business, and continued investment in the Internet".

"David's immediate challenge is to complete Action's transition to a web-centric business, positioning Action as one of the leading players in the B2B supply chain," said Henry Lewis, Action chairman.

"Further out, we look forward to benefiting from David's experience in developing supply solutions within Europe." ®

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