Bytes forges ahead with Xerox buys

The buy-and-build strategy employed by Bytes Technology Group in the Xerox concessionaire market has continued with Halifax-based Planflow Systems the third acquisition in two years and there is no plan to stop. In 2006 Bytes took over Crawley-based Xerox house Xclusive and later that year bought a

The buy-and-build strategy employed by Bytes Technology Group in the Xerox concessionaire market has continued with Halifax-based Planflow Systems the third acquisition in two years and there is no plan to stop.

In 2006 Bytes took over Crawley-based Xerox house Xclusive and later that year bought another services business, Vantage Business Systems.

The purchase of Planflow, which has been in business for 15 years and employs 15 staff, made Bytes the second largest Xerox concessionaire, said Neil Murphy, managing director at Bytes.

"This helps us in the wide format printing market that we developed through Vantage and allows us to expand our Xerox Office and Production systems business in the north of England," he said.

Copier vendor Xerox is encouraging its mono-branded concessionaires to raid rivals' channels and Murphy said it had yet to reach the end of its acquisition trail.

"We are looking at competitor acquisitions, the Ricoh market as well as Xerox concessionaires...there are discussions with several more taking place and we expect to move in on the next one within four months," he added.

Malcolm Hancock, principal analyst at Gartner, said there had been a lot of consolidation in the US Xerox channel and it was "natural" the trend would extend to Europe.

Bytes, which carries Microsoft and Symantec Gold accreditations, has posted 108 per cent increase in revenues to £135m and a 50 per cent rise in profit to £4.5m for the year ended 29 February 2007.

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