In a trading update today, Computacenter confirmed that group pre-tax profits for 2004 are in line with forecasts. But France continues to be a black spot for Europe's biggest reseller.
The company said its French business traded "poorly throughout 2004 and was subject to some extensive re-engineering, particularly in the second half". Germany improved in H2 04, in line with expectations, and should produce similar profits as in 2003.
H2 trading in the UK, Computacenter's biggest arm, went according to the script, with declining average selling prices and squeezed margins for product sales, and growing revenues from managed services.
Last November, the company warned that UK profits would fall by up to £9m over 12 months, following renegotiations over terms and conditions with an unnamed "primary vendor", thought to be HP.
Computacenter shares fell 6.25p today, down 2.06 per cent to 296p. The company now goes into the closed period, keeping mum on share-price sensitive information, until 15 March, when it announces its prelimary results for the year ending 31 December, 2004. ®
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