Amstrad takes a hit from its e-m@iler

Amstrad chief insists it's because the device was being subsidised

Consumer electronics group Amstrad announced Thursday that its e-m@iler product cost it almost £4m in 2000.

The e-m@iler is a telephone that can send faxes, emails and SMS messages, and was launched in March last year. It is sold by Amserve, a joint venture between Amstrad and high street retailer Dixons, which recorded a loss of £4.9m in 2000.

Amstrad's share of this loss came to £3.9m, which knocked its pre-tax profits for 2000 down to £1.5m, compared to £8.2m the year before.

Chairman Alan Sugar explained that Amserve made a loss because it was subsidising the price of each e-m@iler, which costs around £79.99 (inc VAT), and claimed that the operation will soon be profitable.

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