Computacenter is addressing its continental businesses, following sluggish performance in the first half of 2004, as price erosion caused static turnover amid record shipments.
For the six-month period ended 30 June, the corporate VAR reported unchanged total turnover of £1.3bn. Profit was £33.2m, 3.7 per cent up on the same period last year.
However, profit for the German operation was £2.5m, down from £3.2m, while the French division made a £1.7m loss, compared with a £1.5m loss last year.
The UK business led the way with £32.2m profit, representing a 2.4 per cent increase on the first six months of last year.
Andy Purvis, director at Computacenter Scotland, said the firm made more shipments than ever before but saw turnover reduced by price erosion.
Regarding the European operations, Purvis told CRN: "The Computacenter UK management is being integrated with the French and German businesses to create a group management team. They were previously run as separate businesses but we are now reinforcing the Computacenter brand and running a single European business."
Despite flat revenues, business is rolling in for Computacenter. The firm signed two multimillion-pound deals last week with separate energy service providers.
The corporate VAR is upgrading the servers at Scottish Power in a £5m deal, and EDF Energy is taking on a multimillion-pound managed IT service.
Purvis claimed the private sector is spending again as refreshes kick in. "Firms are upgrading technology that was introduced for the millennium," he said.
Shaun Frohlich, executive chairman at corporate VAR Teksys, said businesses are now investing in new server and PC infrastructures. "Servers are probably slightly ahead of PCs but both are growing now," he said.
He added that Teksys is experiencing a similar turnaround in private-sector spending. "Four years down the line since the last broad-based refresh, we are in a situation where businesses can hold off no longer and are finally upgrading," Frohlich said.
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