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Wed 18 Apr 2007 04:00 AM

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i-mate limps to loss as supplier problems bite

Dubai-based Microsoft Windows mobile devices vendor i-mate has issued a pre-close trading update confirming that it will record a “marginal” loss before taxation for the year to the end of March 2007.

Dubai-based Microsoft Windows mobile devices vendor i-mate has issued a pre-close trading update confirming that it will record a “marginal” loss before taxation for the 12 months to the end of March 2007.

The company says annual sales remain in line with estimates of US$190m to US$200m given earlier this year. Cash held at the year end totalled US$65m.

Back in January, i-mate chief executive Jim Morrison revealed the company had experienced “significant” problems with a particular supplier, leaving it unable to fulfil customer orders in a period when it had anticipated a ramp up in sales.

This, along with continued challenges it faced with another existing supplier, had a negative impact on revenue growth and forced the company to review its cost base.

“Following on from the announcement in January, management has undertaken a complete structural and operational review to enable the company’s next stage of growth and support the launch of new product ranges,” said i-mate in its latest statement. “This has also focused on i-mate’s ability to control certainty of production and quality of product.”

The London-listed firm says it will now operate with four regional sales territories, while centres of expertise are being established. This will lead to software being based out of the US, hardware out of the UAE and R&D out of the UK.

All of i-mate’s new devices are on schedule for mass production delivery starting in June. The restructuring will be complete in May and is expected to result in operational savings of around US$3 million a year.

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