ECONOMY

NEC CI is bullish on sales

Personal computer manufacturer NEC Computers International yesterday issued a bullish forecast for the technology market, especially in developing countries despite warnings from technology leaders and consultants that falling sales are likely to be the norm in the months ahead. Michel de Bievre, regional development manager for NEC Computers International, which is a subsidiary of Japanese semiconductor maker NEC, said the confident outlook is based on a jump in demand for NEC CI products in recent months. «We see demand in the professional market, with orders increasing in the last two months,» he told Kathimerini English Edition. He said businesses appeared to be regaining their confidence after the extremes of 1999 and a slowdown following the September 11 attacks last year. De Bievre’s optimism is in sharp contrast to the general gloom gripping the technology sector. Technology consultancy IDC earlier this month revised downward its sales forecast for personal computers for this year, saying turnover will essentially remain stagnant. It also cut its forecast for next year. Technology leader Intel also warned of marginal sales increases this year and in 2003. De Bievre said the best prospects are in developing markets such as Eastern Europe and the Middle East, offsetting flat growth in the developed world. Lenia Iakovidou, managing director for InterFRONTIERS Services Ltd, a subsidiary of NEC CI, said the Greek computer market is set to take off due to the 2004 Olympic Games. She said the merger of Compaq and Hewlett Packard is also bringing about positive changes. NEC CI is aiming for a 3-4 percent market share in the professional and PC markets in the next three years. Hellenic Copper Mines is a venture of Cyprus’s Hellenic Mining Company and Greece’s metallurgy group Mytilineos, both owning 39 percent, and Australia’s Oxiana resources, which has a 15-percent stake in the firm.