Feeds

Amstrad results find Sugar bittersweet

Do you get the feeling that Amserve has got Alan's attention?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Amstrad has released its year-end results and ole Alan Sugar the indomitable chairman is pleased... to report "excellent progress". Gross profit is £15.4 million - 85 per cent higher than last year. Oh, that's excluding Amserve's £2.3 million loss.

And this is the interesting thing about this year's results - an almost obsessive concentration on Amserve. Considering the subsidiary, which makes the e-m@iler - an all-in-one phone, fax, emailer - is only a part of Amstrad's business, it is a little odd that over half the chairman's speech is taken up with explaining why Amserve is actually really good and what a success it will be. Its figures are also listed separately.

But we'll get to that in a minute. Here's all the financial stuff: sales are up 34 per cent to £126.2 million (22 per cent with Amserve incl.), divided more than doubled to 1.5p, um, earnings per share up to 11.3p from 7.5p. You may be interested to know that Amstrad has more than doubled its debtors this year - now £38.7 million from £18.1 million - and cash has stepped down about £5 million to £14.5 million.

But back to Amserve. Sugar was in pains to point out why it hadn't been as successful as people predicted and waxed lyrical about what a revolutionary product the e-m@iler is. Dixons liked it and bought 20 per cent in June for £3 million plus £12 million worth of distribution support. But does Amstrad protest too much? Looking back over previous stories, a pattern emerges - every comment appears to consist of a denial followed by hype for how great e-m@iler is.

Is it though? Is e-m@iler an abject failure? We're not really sure whether we like the idea of a phone/fax/email machine. But that aside, we definitely don't like the 12p an email charge. We did some maths back in March and reckoned the machine could tack on £150 a month to your bills. At that rate, you won't find much of a market. But Alan assures us that it has great potential. Time and again. The company is pushing through with it though and plans a large TV and press ad campaign shortly.

Sugar is obviously hoping e-m@iler will come good. If it does, he'll be held aloft again as a master eye for new technology, if it doesn't, he'll be left with an embarrassing hole in his finances. ®

Related Stories

Amstrad product of the century looks expensive to us
Viglen: new focus and name but the same results (owned by Amstrad)

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.