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 user 2008-12-01 at 11:55:33 am Views: 56
  • #20410
    Brother’s battle plan
    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.”

    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.