Optima to double production potential in June

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Australian OEM Optima Technology Solutions is expanding yet again, moving to a much bigger facility in Sydney's Homebush Bay with four production lines -– enough to churn out up to 2000 PCs a day.

Cornel Ung, MD at ASX-listed Optima, said the box-builder had earmarked a new site in Homebush Bay that was twice the size of its current Silverwater premises. The company plans to officially open the new facility in August.

'We're having a new facility set up in June –- a new production facility which has come from China,' he said. 'We believe that we have a lot to do in the Australian market, such as expand into other states.'

The company had already started supplying Tasmania and the Northern Territory but was targeting Western Australia and South Australia in the coming year, Ung said.

'The current [facility] we have can do about 400 PCs a day. The new one will be able to do 900 a day, and we can scale up by having a second shift. That could be 2000 units a day. And instead of having one stock line, we will have four production [lines],' he said.

Ung said the company had experienced more than 30 percent growth in its channel in the most recent financial year and expected to grow even faster in the coming year. Optima's bread-and-butter earner was large deals in the education and government sector but the box-builder was also ramping up its channel and retail involvement, he said.

'Education and government market ... gives us the biggest volume of business. But this year we picked up an extra 30 resellers with our [new] channel managers. We've had about 30 percent growth compared to the year before,' Ung said.

Optima had this week launched its first attack on the digital home space, releasing a locally-made entry-level video-editing PC and two home entertainment-friendly ultraportable Centrino notebooks.

'Today, the users are very demanding. Apart from using their PCs for internet browsing or doing their work, they would like to listen to music and watch DVDs. So I think this is a great area at the moment,' Ung said.

He said most 'media centre-type' PCs so far released had a relatively high price point that could prove a considerable barrier to entry for many consumers, who were now used to lower PC prices. Thus, Optima was aiming its video-editing PC at an approximate $2000 price point, Ung said.

Optima reported a profit turnaround for the half year to 31 December 2003.

Net profits after tax leaped to $1,319,000 for the first half of the 2003-04 financial year –- up from the previous six months' $1,353,000 loss. Overall, the ASX-listed hardware vendor netted 18 percent more revenue, to $56,102,000, for the first half of this fiscal year.

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