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Five years ago: Compaq will grow to $40bn says Pfieffer

Eckhard Pfeiffer told a 150-strong European audience in London that he plans to turn Compaq into a $40bn computer company

Compaq president and chief executive Eckhard Pfeiffer today told a 150-strong European audience in London that he plans to build a $40bn computer company. However, Pfeiffer said he was aware of the dangers of splitting down too many lines.

"We intend to more than double to a $40bn company by 2000 -- that's 25 per cent growth a year," said Pfeiffer, whose company has amassed $4bn in cash, and recently reported sales of $18.1bn with net profits of $1.3bn for 1996. Pfeiffer put Compaq's success down to its market focus: "Our business mix, roughly 85 per cent commercial and 15 per cent consumer, will probably stay that way for years to come."

Pfeiffer said Compaq had recently implemented a programme called 'Crossroads' to narrow its focus, whereby 15 units within the company decided on the areas it should invest in. "Enterprise computing, the small- to medium-sized firm, the Internet, communications and strategic partnerships" were the key areas, said Pfeiffer. "We've built a separate division concentrating on the Internet."

But the US computer giant still has the resources to invest in networking products and remote access, as well as NetPCs, home management and consumer appliances: "We truly believe there is no end in sight," said Pfeiffer.

"(Soon) we will have the opportunity to be among the top three computer companies in the world. In '92 we stepped out and said we wanted to be the world leader in PCs by '96. We beat it by two years."