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By | Kelly Fiveash 20th December 2007 16:40

Lenovo insists EMEA retail expansion still a goer

Expects to swerve any economic slowdown

Chinese computer maker Lenovo has rebuffed claims that it was considering scaling back its 2008 retail ambitions in the EMEA region in the face of the credit crunch crisis and any potential economic nosedive.

A Lenovo spokeswoman told El Reg that the firm, which until now focused on punting its PC goods to business customers, had not altered its retail expansion plans in EMEA for the coming year.

She said it has already been flexing its small retail muscles in France and South Africa where it wants to bump up consumer spending by investing more into those markets.

"Any economic slowdown will not have any bearing on our step-by-step deployment strategy," said the spokeswoman. "This phased approach allows Lenovo to be flexible as it rolls out the program, responding to partner and consumer needs."

She added that Lenovo was keen to go after emerging markets such as Eastern Europe and the Middle East. However, she didn't cough up any real details about the firm's 2008 retail plans for other parts of Western Europe.

Earlier this week the Financial Times reported that the vendor was taking a softly-softly approach in EMEA and reckoned it was considering delaying further investment, particularly within the mature portion of that market.

Lenovo EMEA president Milko Van Duijl told the FT: "We are on guard. We are really looking at banking signals, interbank lending, and consumer confidence. There is a whole list of countries we would like to launch in, but we need to make sure we will get a return on investment. I am a believer in focus - doing fewer things but doing them right, and only going into markets where we can do well."

Lenovo saw EMEA turnover increase by 18 per cent year-on-year to reach $886m in its last round of quarterly results. ®

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