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By | Kelly Fiveash 11th March 2008 12:44

Computacenter plumps up revs, pre-tax profit

Credit crisis? What credit crisis?

Computacenter today said its customers are yet to feel the pinch from the credit crunch as it reported its first revenue growth in five years.

It saw adjusted pre-tax profit of £47.2m for the year ended 31 December 2007, an increase of nearly 28 per cent.

The Hatfield, Hertfordshire-based company said total revenues grew for the first time since 2003, up 4.8 per cent to nearly £2.38bn.

Diluted earnings per share were up 67 per cent to 18.2 pence. It recommended final dividend of 5.5 pence pre share and a total dividend of eight pence.

The firm said that “after a lacklustre 2006”, the German arm of its business had proved to be the “highlight of the year”, pulling in adjusted operating profit of £10.4m in that region. Revenues were up 8.2 per cent to £708.6m.

However, Computacenter saw operating profit at its UK division fall 11.6 per cent to £33.1m and blamed a number of 2006 contract losses and its painful renegotiations with BT – one of its biggest customers – for the decline. UK revenue growth was up 5.9 per cent to £1.36bn.

Computacenter added that despite a slowdown in spending, particularly within the UK public sector, the firm had scooped up a number of private sector wins in the second half of last year. These included a £19m managed services contract extension with knickers giant Marks & Spencer.

It also continued to record a loss at the French wing of its business, although operating losses narrowed somewhat to £1.8m compared to 2006’s £6.5m figure.

Computacenter also reiterated the same line it gave in January about the economic downturn.

It said in a statement: “Like many companies we are concerned that the current credit crisis will have a negative effect on market conditions, however to date there is no obvious sign of this materialising.”

Shares in the firm rose by nearly ten per cent to 188.25 pence this morning on the London Stock Exchange, although the fact this is down 34 per cent on the year perhaps offers a more telling overview of the firm's recent bumpy ride.®

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