Stories by Reseller News Staff

Datasouth's former MD accused of $103 million fraud

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has officially laid charges against former Datasouth managing director, Gavin Bennett.
The SFO alleges that Bennett orchestrated a $103 million fraud involving a Ponzi-style scheme and false accounting.
The former MD now faces six representative charges under the Crimes Act, relating to approximately 900 separate incidents of alleged misuse of a document, along with two charges of false accounting.
Bennett allegedly created false documents relating to a lease of IT equipment to fraudulently obtain funds from South Canterbury Finance totalling approximately $65 million, between April 2005 and March 2011.

Warwick Grey leaves Renaissance for Microsoft

Renaissance’s general manager for distribution Warwick Grey is leaving the company to return to Microsoft. Grey has confirmed that he is moving to Microsoft and his current role at Renaissance will be filled by CIO Doug Casement.

Watchdog and Dataview announce merger

Watchdog, a provider of internet safety and connectivity services to schools in New Zealand, has completed the acquisition of Dataview, a provider of hosted internet services to the education market.

Renaissance takes hit in 'perfect storm'

Renaissance Corporation expects to incur a loss of earnings of $2.7 million by the time its financial year ends this month, along with $1.3 million in material damage, according to a statement released on the New Zealand Exchange website today.
The statement cited a letter to shareholders saying that Renaissance has "experienced the perfect storm" in its 2010-2011 fiscal year, including Apple's appointment of a second distributor in New Zealand [Ingram Micro], and the Christchurch earthquakes, among other factors.
"With the introduction of a second distributor of Apple, it was inevitable that we would lose some market share," the letter states. "What we did not know was how much, in what areas or which customers. Between our year to September 2010 and what we expect for the year to September 2011 sales in distribution and direct sales are down 14 percent. Apple sales in these businesses are down only 8 percent on last year, which is a credible result. We have suffered a slightly greater drop in sales of other product and so, combined with margin reductions, gross margin in this business has declined $1.5 million year on year."
Overall, the company expects its whole business, with no adjustment for loss of business in Christchurch gross margins, to have declined $4.0 million, or 27 percent in 2010-2011, but to recover in 2011-2012. Part of that recovery will be due in part to the dramatic staff cuts, from 367 last November to 268 now, with 76 of those being chopped from distribution and sales.
"The significant changes we have made in employee numbers and operating expenditure will begin to flow in 2012," the company says in a statement. "While it is early for us to complete a budget management’s best estimate is that we will record a profit of about $1.5 million in 2012 after an EBITDA of about $4.0 million."

Datacom revenue up, profit down

Datacom's latest financial results show the company's revenue grew by 8.7 percent in the year ended on 31 March but the group's trading profit was impacted by goodwill impairment costs of $3.3 million and the closure of the company's Sydney-based software development business.

Magnum Mac founder named among earthquake victims

Multiple media reports confirm that Magnum Mac founder and Renaissance board member Murray Wood was trapped inside the CTV building when the Christchurch earthquake hit. But there have yet to be any official confirmation that Wood perished in the quake.

Datacraft tight-lipped on Integral/Axon deal rumour

Industry sources say Datacraft owner Dimension Data may be planning to acquire Integral/Axon, however Datacraft country manager Robin Hartendorp said he was unable to comment on whether any deals were pending.
One industry member said the acquisition deal under negotiation, and said it could be among the biggest by value in the local IT industry.

Ladd steps up as Datacom CEO

Datacom director Jonathan Ladd has been appointed Datacom Group CEO following the recent sudden death of former CEO Michael Browne.
Ladd is based in Sydney and has been a director at Datacom for four years. The company says he worked closely with Browne on many aspects of the company's development.

Renaissance takes step toward profit recovery

Renaissance Group has posted an after tax profit of $473,000 for the first half of 2010, up 150 percent on the previous corresponding half year but well short of the after tax surplus of $1.46 million it announced for the corresponding 2008 half year.
In the latest half year announcement, the company's revenue was up seven percent for the period year on year, to $100.8 million. Net debt was reduced from $3 million to below $500,000.