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By | John Oates 10th March 2009 09:31

Computacenter grows revenues as profits fall

Blames the French

Computacenter pre-tax profits are down slightly for 2008 but revenues grew 7.6 per cent to £2.56bn.

For the year ended 31 December 2008 Computacenter saw profit before tax fall 6 per cent to £39.5m.

Chief executive Mike Norris said it was impossible to draw many conclusions for the year ahead until the company had completed its first quarter.

He said: “The current economic conditions are undoubtedly affecting the markets in which we operate. However we can, and do, help businesses reduce costs...We expect this growth to continue at a similar pace throughout the year, though our product revenues are under pressure."

Computacenter Germany was more profitable - helped by exchange rates. But business in the UK was "lack lustre" - UK turnover grew 2.5 per cent to £1.39bn but adjusted operating profit fell 15.6 per cent to £27.9m.

Increased sales were mainly down to data centre deals and sales to medium-sized businesses. Profits were also hit by the cost of a new ERP system from SAP.

The company has withdrawn from distributing PCs, laptops and printers which will cut 2009 revenues by £70m but have no impact on profits. It should also free up £15m for other investments.

Business in France is still challenging but the firm is seeing some improvements. Revenue fell 7.1 per cent in local currency and operating loss was reduced to £1m from £1.8m the year before. Computacenter has appointed a new French CEO and invested more in sales.

For 2009 French profitability will depend on renewal of a contract with the French Army, due to be signed by the end of the first quarter.

Full announcement is here. ®

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