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Stone shatters kid Rock: Gamers not as flush as they used to be

PC builder parent says users will still get support

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Stone Group has killed off the Rock Group operation, which built hefty gaming laptops and notebooks, claiming it saw "no potential" in its future.

Staffordshire-based PC builder Stone bought the assets of Rock Group in late May 2008 after the firm was placed into administration by Nick Boardman, who founded the business some 16 years previously.

Daley Robinson, marketing director at Stone, told The Channel: "The retail market is extremely challenging ... going into 2013 we don't see a huge potential for that B2C gaming enthusiast sector".

He refused to provide specifics on the downturn in Rock sales but admitted the trade "reflected the difficulties" in the cash-strapped sector.

The 100,000 sq ft production line in Staffordshire, which builds PCs and servers for Stone's public sector customers, also made high-spec Rock laptops. No redundancies will be made, the company insisted.

The website that sold Rock has been closed but Robinson said existing Rock customers will have their warranties honoured by Stone's technical support team.

Stone, which saw calendar 2011 sales slide 6 per cent to £65.5m but improved profits 42 per cent to £1.9m, has recently parted with long-serving chief exec and founder James Bird.

Robinson said it has brought on board Tim Killick to head up its group bids and infrastructure services team to bolster business with public sector customers, particularly in education.

Killick was head of strategic bids at education supplier European Electronique and has operated in that unit since May 2001. ®

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