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XMA to cut jobs amid market slowdown

Paul Kunert

XMA has placed a little over 10% of its staff at risk of redundancy in response to a sluggish corporate market and in anticipation of public sector spending cuts.

The Nottingham-based reseller confirmed that it has entered into a consultation period with 30 individuals in the sales, marketing and purchasing departments.

"In the current economic climate there is a constant need to review our position in our chosen markets and to consider all of the factors likely to impact our long term financial viability," said Ash Merchant, sales and marketing director.

The company had met expectations in the first half he said but was cutting its cloth accordingly in a tough market.

"The corporate sector is difficult with many companies deferring or reducing expenditure where possible. It is also widely accepted that at some point in the near future public expenditure will be severely curtailed," he added.

The company, which was acquired by Reading-based distributor Westcoast in December 2007, employs around 260 people.

Earlier this month, the Chancellor Alistair Darling said the Government would focus on healthy, education, transport and housing as spending priority but conceded it may make cuts elsewhere to address to £175bn budget deficit.

Alastair Edwards, senior analyst at Canalys, said there would continue to be pockets of opportunity in the public sector but it was inevitable that spending would fall, irrespective of which party wins the next election.

"If a reseller is aiming at the public sector but does not have a focus, they will face a tough time, in the next two years public sector spending will fall off the edge of a cliff," he said.

However, the Government's push around Digital Britain, green technologies and data centre consolidation would be areas of growth. "Vendors have a role to help resellers understand the areas of opportunity."

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