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Advantage looks to Hot Rod for growth

By Aimee McClinchy

Friday 5th May 2000

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Greg Cross
Advantage Group is to launch a new components subsidiary codenamed "Hot Rod" and continue its programme of reinvesting millions of dollars of revenue back in the company.

But chief executive Greg Cross said he would not allow the investments and acquisitions to tip quarterly profits into the red.

"We will continue to walk a line on that one; we think it is important to be profitable," he said, referring to the volatile state of the technology market.

Advantage spent $800,000 on recruitment and investing in subsidiaries and an initial $2 million of $6.3 million in the acquisition of Aldridge Punter in the third quarter ended March 31, while reporting a profit after tax and before goodwill of $1.2 million.

That profit was on revenues of $13.7 million, compared with revenues of $3.8 million for the same period a year before.

Mr Cross said Advantage was to launch a new componentry division supplying ready-made applications for IT systems over the next few weeks.

The subsidiary, which was finishing its branding and in which substantial investments had been made, will work with Microsoft platforms and other systems.

In the third quarter Advantage also invested heavily in international payments and piloting internet-enabled point of sale systems to be run as new business units, Mr Cross said.

It had also been working on wireless initiatives and was to focus on Latin America for its retail solutions for oil companies.

Mr Cross said Advantage hired or acquired 70 staff in the third quarter, bringing staff numbers to 400 from only 65 in December last year.

He said Advantage was focused on its Australian Stock Exchange listing this year but was not looking at the Nasdaq. "We're not big enough," he said.



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