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Notebook Company plans African expansion

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Laptop and accessories retailer The Notebook Company is planning to expand into African countries after a “surge of interest” for mobile technology, including laptops and tablets.
In the last year the company has exported to Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Lesotho, Mozambique and Malawi.
But, according to CEO Christopher Riley, the company is also “picking up” interest from other African countries, including Nigeria, DRC, Kenya, Ethiopia and Ghana.
“Currently our sales outside South Africa only account for 5% of our total sales, but this percentage could change markedly over the next 24 months.  Conducting business in Africa has its challenges, so we will be tempering our expansion and will be working on a cash-only basis when it comes to sales.”
Riley adds that the company’s sales in the last six months, compared to the first six months of last year, had been “static”, mainly due to the weakness of the Rand against the dollar.
“But I believe we will offset this vulnerability with slowly increasing sales into other African countries. This is not a market we are going to dive into. It will be a measured sales expansion and, if necessary, we will appoint resellers in regions that show promise – and increasing demand.
“It is a case of looking outside South Africa, but inside Africa,” he says.