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By | Joe Fay 12th January 2010 12:33

Computacenter says profits 'materially' ahead of forecasts

As Morse signals confidence

Computacenter said its profits for 2009 will be well ahead of expectations, as it saw services grow in the last quarter and hardware buyers rush to beat the government's VAT increase.

The reselling giant said profits before tax and exceptionals should come in "materially ahead of consensus expectations" of £48.4m. Exceptionals should come in at £4.5m, £1.5m less than expected.

In the UK revenues fell by 11 per cent to around £1.25bn. However, once the effect of its now offloaded distribution business is stripped out, the revenue fall was six per cent, while revenues from continuing operations were up two per cent in the fourth quarter.

Full year services revenues were up eight per cent. This was driven by its contractual services revenues, which were up 13 per cent, while professional services revenues were down 11 per cent. The pro services fall was put down to the squeeze on infrastructure projects - but, Computacenter said, the pipeline for these jobs improved in the fourth quarter.

German revenues were down one per cent to €1bn, but were up 11 per cent in sterling. French revenues slipped slightly, but were ahead of internal expectations.

CEO Mike Norris said that while there was ucertainty over business linked to "capital expenditure, the contractual services growth and structural changes we have made, make us confident in the business and future progress in 2010".

Meanwhile, services group Morse plc said it expected revenues for the six months to December 31 2009 to be marginally ahead of the previous six month's £104.4m, and in line with the previous year's figure. It said adjusted EBIT from continuing operations would be around £3.6m, well up on the previous year's £1m. ®

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