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 user 2008-12-01 at 11:55:00 am Views: 39
  • #20825
    Brother’s battle plan
    Brother UK expects overall sales to rise by almost 10 per cent this year but warns profits will be significantly lower as it invests heavily in advertising and marketing to protect its market share.The company, which has its headquarters in Audenshaw, Tameside, is on course to post revenues of £110m for the 12 months to the end of March after a strong first half to the end of September.Phil Jones, the firm’s sales and marketing director, said he had earmarked up to £3m to spend on marketing and advertising during the second half.Profits are likely to be up to 50 per cent below last year’s £9.33m, a figure boosted by the pound’s strength in 2007.”Exchange rates provided a massive positive swing for us last year, but the pound’s depreciation against the euro during 2008 will have an impact this time around,” said Mr Jones.”There is no doubt the next six months are going to be immensely difficult. There’s a cautious market, but we are positive.”If things carry on as they are, we expect sales of £110m for the full year.”

    Brother UK, which employs 180 people, sells all-in-one printing, scanning, copying and fax machines, inkjet and laser printers, sewing machines and electronic labelling devices used by tradesmen and in warehouses and offices for racking and filing systems.Sales during the first six months of the financial year grew 7.3pc on a like-for-like basis, with strong demand for colour laser equipment.

    The firm has undertaken a huge data analysis exercise to identify the top 100 postcodes in the country for expanding SMEs, and is putting a lot of time and effort into maximising sales in those areas, which include Manchester city centre.”We are taking a very targeted approach to generate business and we are hopeful it will yield some very good results,” said Mr Jones.The trend towards flexible working and homeworking is driving sales growth along with investment in new schools around the country, he added.

    Brother UK has moved its warehouse operations from Greater Manchester to a larger facility in Leicester, which Mr Jones said would give the business a platform for further expansion.The firm is owned by Japan’s Brother Industries and is celebrating 40 years in Greater Manchester.