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Thu 4 Mar 2004 04:00 AM

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Centra expands PC production capability

Egyptian PC vendor Centra invests US$14.5m in new assembly line to increase its annual production capacity to 150,000 units and offer contract assembly services

Egyptian PC vendor Centra has invested US$14.5m in its latest assembly plant to challenge established brands being imported into the market. Centra also plans to offer contract assembly services to other local vendors wishing to take advantage of the facility's 150,000 units per year capacity. Servers will also be rolling off Centra's production line alongside the high-quality local-branded PCs.

“We are looking forward to winning 20% of the total PC market in Egypt,” says Mokbel Fayyad, CEO at Centra Technologies. “Our prices are very competitive in the market. We can produce PCs at 20% to 25% cheaper than imported brands and servers at 10% to 15% less than international brands.”

Fayyad estimates that up to 300,000 PCs could be shipped into Egypt during 2004 and is adamant that Centra can redress the balance. “We are planning to target Egypt and four other major Arab markets: Iraq, Syria, Libya and Sudan. To do that, we will establish a network of partners in those markets.”

Centra plans to launch three different PC lines aimed at various sectors of the market. PCs for the small office home office (SOHO) sector will be sold under the Bingo brand with corporate customers targeted by the Coral brand. Servers will be marketed under the Novo brand. Centra has also set up a high-end maintenance and service centre to provide customers with technical support and services. This will be split into two units focused on the consumer and corporate sectors respectively.

Whilst contract assembly may be a relatively new concept to the Egyptian market, it can be a cheaper option for smaller assemblers. Large facilities have greater economies of scale and also benefit from bulk buying power.

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