Reseller giant Computacenter has beaten the current IT gloom and reported positive financial results for the second half of 2000, citing strong UK trading as the main reason.
In the six months to 31 December, Computacenter recorded an increase in turnover of 13 per cent to £1.9bn on the same period last year. While pre-tax profit was down 26 per cent to £55.6m, that figure is before the company's investment in e-procurement business Biomni is taken into account.
Pre-tax profit before the Biomni acquisition shows an increase of 10.4 per cent on the same period last year. Shares of operating losses in Biomni were £3.6m.
The results also come as a marked improvement on the company's figures for the first six months of 2000. Following a profit warning earlier in the year, pre-tax profit on the six months to 30 June was halved to £19.2m on the same period last year. Mike Norris, chief executive, said at the same time it was "a hiatus, not a fundamental shift in the business".
For the second half of 2000, the UK was Computacenter's best-performing European country as turnover rose to £1.7bn, from £1.5bn in 1999. Germany rose slightly to £77.6m from £77.2m, while France, Belgium and Luxemburg's combined turnover fell from £226.6m to £225.3m.
Computacenter's UK results follow those of rival reseller Morse, which last week reported a 57 per cent increase in turnover from £203m to £308m for the last six months ended 31 December.
Norris said a strong second-half performance in the UK had lifted Computacenter's full-year pre-tax profit above analysts' expectations.
"The UK has been strong, but trading in the first half of the year suffered from Y2K difficulties. The business has responded with second-half profitability which was ahead of the corresponding period of 1999 and ahead of expectations," he said.
"Trading in the first few weeks of the current year has been in line with our expectations. Now that the millennium is behind us we are confident of growth prospects for the group."
Also published in Computer Reseller News
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