By Sarah Falson

HOMEBUSH, NSW: Local supplier, Optima computers, has recorded a dip of nine per cent for the December half year, partly due to limited distribution to its regular retail channels, Good Guys, Retravision and Leading Edge.

The brand, which claims to be the largest Australian PC manufacturer, announced its revenue for the period at $41.6 million, compared with $45.2 million in the corresponding period, though Optima’s gross margin for the period is $631,000 which is considerably higher than the previous year’s loss of $659,000.

Contributing to the higher margin was a focus on resources which allowed the company to build a better and closer relationship with its education and government customers, said Optima chairman, Cornel Ung.

Contributing to the nine per cent loss was a drop in overall revenue flowing from the retail sector, said Ung.

“The company has a strategy of transitioning away from large retailers to mainly supplying to our own channel network which now runs under the 3C Shop banner. As the 3C Shop model matures, we will see a positive contribution from this area,” he said.

During the period, the PC and notebook-maker mainly supplied to the government, and was involved in a Department of Education and Training project in the ACT, which saw the manufacturer sell desktops, notebooks and computer accessories to primary and secondary schools.

The company plans to deal with the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority and “other government departments” this year, where it foresees “an increase in computer requirement from other government departments.”

According to Ung, Optima changed its retail strategy to make its products more competitive, meeting market demand.

An Optima Peripherals business is in the pipeline, which will make some contribution to the company’s bottom line in the next six months.