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Wednesday, February 4, 1998 Published at 08:05 GMT


Pace Micro confident despite job cuts
image: [ Adding the finishing touches: digital TV will be available in June ]
Adding the finishing touches: digital TV will be available in June

As BSkyB prepares to start offering British viewers digital television in June, Pace Micro Technology is in a confident mood despite reporting its first loss last month.

But the long-awaited arrival of digital set-top boxes into the UK's living rooms comes too late to save the jobs of 150 of the company's workers.

[ image: Pace Micro employs 1,000 workers]
Pace Micro employs 1,000 workers
Pace Micro now has a "substantial order" for digital boxes from BSkyB and needs to start proving its highly-valued potential.

When the company was floated on the Stock Exchange 18 months ago it raised £200m.

This was not based solely on expectation. Pace Micro had forced its way into the modem market in the 1980s and went on to build 60% of all British satellite systems in the next decade.

The strategy for the new millennium was to go full-force into digital, while many others doubted whether it would ever take off.

[ image: Malcolm Miller:
Malcolm Miller: "Great opportunities"
Now Pace Micro is one of only four companies contracted to supply set-top boxes to BSkyB and the Managing Director, Malcolm Miller, is certain he might the right decision.

"It's been a bumpy ride and not as we expected. But we know that there will be great opportunities in the future for digital TV," he said.

"The plant is busy, it's producing a very large order for digital set top boxes for the French market and we hope the same plant very soon, during the summer months, will be producing for BSkyB."

He blamed the job cuts, part of a package to save £5m, on consolidation of existing projects.

"We need fewer resources in some of the markets where we have already launched digital television," he said.

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