The merger of the telecommunications interests of two of Britain's biggest electronics groups, General Electric Co. PLC (GEC) and Plessey Co., is aimed at creating a more powerful force in international marketing, it was stated last week.

The claim was made with the formal announcement of the formation of GEC Plessey Telecommunications Ltd. (GPT), which will start trading on April 1 as one of the world's ten largest telecommunications groups.Increased international market share is a priority for the new company, which will initially generate about one quarter, or 300 million ($558 million), of its 1.2 billion annual turnover from international business, according to GPT international director Robbie Robertson.

Its product range will cover the whole spectrum of telecommunications,

from System X, the digital public exchange already jointly developed by GEC and Plessey, to the DCO digital public switching systems of Stromberg-Carlson Corp., the Lake Mary, Fla.-based subsidiary of Plessey. Other products include transmission systems, business telephone exchanges and telephones and pay phones.

However, Mr. Robertson declined to be more precise on what proportion of its sales GPT will eventually aim to derive from non-British markets.

Explaining the rationale behind the merger, Richard Reynolds, managing director of GPT, said that structural changes of the industry over the past few years mean that only the largest companies can provide the complex advanced products required in increasingly competitive world markets.

The combination of the telecommunications sides of the two companies means that GPT becomes a company with operations in over 100 countries and with increased chances of international success.