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Uneasy relations between Kalms and Sugar: City Diary

The relationship between two titans of British consumer electronics, Stanley Kalms and Alan Sugar, has hit frosty waters. Their careers have shadowed each other since they founded their companies, Dixons and Amstrad, and built them up on the stre ngth ofthe electronics boom.

However, relations between the giants were strained by Sugar's complaints last year that the 350-store group was squeezing Amstrad's margins unbearably and virtually broke down when the Tottenham chairman started retailing personal computers and faxes through his own mail order catalogues.

Yesterday, at Amstrad's results, Mr Sugar tried to suppress suggestions of a rift, saying Mr Kalms had only recently wished him a happy birthday. Mr Sugar, 47, an Aries, celebrated his birthday 11 months ago on 23 March.