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By | Paul Kunert 26th November 2012 14:43

Phoenix IT Group signs £40m desktop support win

Wins outsourcing contract from outsourcer

Phoenix IT Group has inked a five-year £40m desktop support deal with an unnamed customer, the troubled firm revealed today.

This is the sort of news investors will cheer after a challenging year in which the Northampton-based firm axed staff, watched its profits collapse, unearthed serious accounting errors, and accepted its CEO's resignation.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, Phoenix confirmed 180 field services peeps are to transfer to the business from the customer, described as a global services provider, to provide "desk-side engineering support".

The staff will be deployed for the service provider's clients and its own UK operations from next month, Phoenix said.

"The deal is a positive extension of the existing relationship between the global IT service provider and Phoenix in the UK, and represents the culmination of an extensive selection process," it added.

The stock market hasn't reacted positively to the news - in fact it hasn't reacted at all - but maybe that speaks more to the sort of calendar year Phoenix has endured.

In January it showed 300 workers the door amid a company-wide reorganisation and in March fiscal 2012 numbers showed an 84 per cent slide in profits to £3.8m.

Then in September the firm unearthed accounting errors that will wipe £14m from net assets and last month CEO Dave Courtley exited after just 15 months at the helm, clearly disillusioned by his time there.

By anyone's reckoning this was an annus horribilis for the firm, but could get worse depending on what half-year numbers to 30 September show. Phoenix pretty much raised a red flag today by warning that in the short term its numbers won't be flattering.

"The board is very cautious in relation to its current trading performance, but is encouraged about the company's medium and longer term prospects," said Phoenix. ®

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