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General Automation Cites Soft Sales as Losses Mount

Times Staff Writer

Blaming the continuing computer sales slump and the sale of its troubled printed circuit board division, General Automation said Monday that its fiscal third-quarter loss climbed to $4.5 million as sales fell to $13.6 million.

For the period ended April 27, the Anaheim company’s revenues dropped 28% from the $19 million recorded a year earlier. The quarterly losses were more than three times the $1.3 million lost in the period last year.

For the first nine months of the fiscal year, the company lost $6.7 million, a significant increase over the $859,000 lost in the year-ago period. Revenues for the three quarters were $43.6 million, a 22% drop from the $55.6 million recorded last year.

Chairman Leonard Mackenzie attributed the rising losses to the write-offs of useless equipment the company took when it sold its National Technology printed circuit board division for $5 million last month. He blamed the declining revenues on persistently sagging sales within the computer industry as well as the loss of sales from the printed circuit board division.

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Despite the continued red ink, Mackenzie found some good news in the company’s recently concluded quarter.

Mackenzie said the recent sale of the printed circuit board division has finally given the company a chance to realize its goal of becoming only a computer maker. Although Mackenzie acknowledged that the computer industry has been suffering one of its worst periods, he said General Automation has found success with its new line of Zebra personal business computers and expects the series to carry the company to profitability next year.

However, Mackenzie revealed that in order to exploit the full potential from Zebra, the company must obtain new financing.


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