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By | Joe Fay 10th July 2008 10:58

Computacenter picks up steam after grim Q1

Customers have to buy something after all

Computacenter issued a not entirely depressing trading statement this morning, saying business had picked up after a grim start to its financial year.

The systems integrator issued a profit warning for its first quarter back in May. But this morning it said organic growth in the first was its “strongest for a number of years”, even taking into account the strengthening Euro. The company said that group revenues should grow eight per cent for the first half.

While there was “much uncertainty in the market place”, Computacenter said its customers still needed to invest in IT to increase efficiency, reduce risk and improve their competitiveness.

Still, even as the top line was looking better than expected, the firm still expects H1 pre-tax profits to be down on last year. Last year, first half revenues were £1.16bn, with profit before tax at £12.8bn.

It was the firm’s UK and French operations which put the smile back on Computacenter execs' faces, with the second quarter revenue and profit in both countries ahead of a grim first quarter, and ahead of the same period last year.

Nevertheless, investment in the UK together with the exceptionally bad start to Q1 means first half profits will be below last year. The good performance in France means first half loss will be broadly similar to H1 2007 in local currency. However, it said this together with recent wins bodes well for the second half.

In Germany, trading was “consistent” in the first half. While revenues in local currency were slightly down on the year, last year’s profit growth had continued, mainly because of improved service margins. ®

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