Optima brings in an administrator

Australian computer maker and electronics distributor Optima ICM today said it had voluntarily appointed administrator Moore Stephens to several of its ailing divisions.

Australian computer maker and electronics distributor Optima ICM today said it had voluntarily appointed administrator Moore Stephens to several of its ailing divisions.

The units now under administration are Optima Technology Solutions, which makes and distributes computer hardware and electronics retailers Digital City Group and 3CSHOP International.

In a statement, Optima chairman and managing director Cornel Ung said the company's PC division had been operating under "fierce competition" from multinational vendors for several years.

"Optima Technology Solutions has had losses for some time but suffered a major setback when it lost the preferred supplier status to Departments of Education and Training in both Queensland and New South Wales," he wrote.

The Digital City business, which Optima only bought last year, has failed to meet the company's profit forecasts and has been consistently experiencing losses. "Unfortunately, with the general downturn in retail sales, management have not been able to turn this business around," wrote Ung.

Optima halted trading of its shares on the Australian Stock Exchange on 18 July last week and has not yet commenced trading again.

The company's revenues shrank 37 per cent to AU$26.2 million for the six months to 31 December 2007, compared with the same period in 2006. Net losses were AU$5.14 million, compared with a modest profit of AU$29,000 in 2006.

Despite the company's woes, Ung said the parent company and other subsidiaries proposed to continue their operations and had no intention of appointing administrators.

Do you work for Optima or one of its subsidiaries? Drop ZDNet.com.au a line and let us know what's happening. We'll maintain your confidentiality.

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