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First full year trading via XML links guarantees No.1 UK distributor status for another year

Chessington, 17 September 2003: Ideal has ramped up its share of the Microsoft UK market to 45% based on the huge success of its LDi online licensing tool.

Overall Ideal’s software licensing business grew a massive 46% year on year.

“September 23 2002 was the opening of a new chapter in our success as a software distributor,” said Alex Tatham, vice president of global software distribution, Bell Microproducts Europe. “That day we become the WORLD’s first company to open up XML links with Microsoft HQ, thus slashing the authorisation and authentication times for Microsoft license sales. Our industry leading investment in licensing technology has been much copied but never bettered.”

Tatham continued “Thanks to LDi, we grew our European licensing business to £6.6 million in June, and increased to 45% our market share of Microsoft’s sales.”

Creating new business opportunities is at the heart of LDi because it enables resellers to sell licensing effectively, reducing operating expenses and providing a better customer experience. License programme complexity is reduced, with the sales cycle shrinking to a simple transaction that could only take a few minutes to complete.

For further information please contact ambrosemcnevin@transom-media.co.uk; 020 8444 7649


About Ideal:

Ideal is the UK division of Bell Microproducts Europe. Bell Microproducts Europe is a unique channel focused supplier of hardware and software products and services ranging from components to high-level consultancy.
Each Bell Microproducts Europe business operates in the following key technology markets:

Enterprise Solutions - Focusing on high-end storage solutions. Branded as Ideal Enterprise Solutions in UK and Bell Microproducts Solutions in all other European territories

Systems - Focusing primarily on the Intel based server, desktop and mobile
Markets

Software - Focusing on the sales of software, primarily through its on-online licensing tool LDi (Licence Desk internet)

Mass Storage - Focusing on disk drives and storage components

Professional Services - Storage consultancy engaging with end users to create a market for resellers.

Bell Microproducts Europe is headquartered in Chessington in the UK with operations in France (Paris) Germany (Munich); Italy (Milan); Netherlands (Amersfoort); Belgium (Brussels); and Sweden (Stockholm).

Bell Microproducts Solutions is headquartered in Almere, The Netherlands with operations in Belgium (Brussels), Germany (Frankfurt) and Austria (Vienna).

Bell Microproducts Europe is part of the $2 billion NASDAQ listed Bell Microproducts Inc, one of the world's largest storage focused IT companies operating from more than 40 locations, and employing over 1,100 people across the US, Canada, Latin America, the UK and Europe.

In the UK Bell Microproducts Europe owns and operates Ideal Hardware. Ideal Hardware was voted Storage Distributor of the Year at the Computer Reseller News Channel Awards 2002 for the fourth consecutive year.


Safe Harbor Statement

This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company's current views of future events and financial performance, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or facts to differ materially from such statements for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: the ability to successfully integrate the operations of recent acquisitions, industry conditions, changes in product supply, pricing, and customer demand, competition, other vagaries in the computer and electronic components markets, changes in relationships with key suppliers, foreign currency fluctuations and the other risks described from time to time in the Company's reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (including the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K). Investors should take such risks into account when making investment decisions. Shareholders and other readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. The company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements.

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