2 Computacenter

Doug Woodburn
clock • 2 min read

Revenue: £1.76bn (+12%)

Net profit: 3.7%     Staff: 3,922

Computacenter may have lost its Top VARs crown, but it remains by far the largest UK-headquartered VAR/IT services outfit (see p?), with global revenues rising eight per cent to £5.44bn in calendar 2020.

For all Computacenter's globe-trotting antics, it was its 4,000-employee UK operation that brought home the bacon for the Hatfield-based giant last year. It generated a £65.7m net profit on revenues that jumped 12 per cent to £1.76bn on the back of surging demand for remote working solutions (in contrast, Computacenter's larger German operation shrank 2.5 per cent).

Globally, only CDW ($18bn), WWT ($13bn), SHI ($11bn), NTT Ltd ($11bn), Insight ($8bn) and SoftwareONE (CHF 7.9bn) turn over more than this LSE-listed powerhouse, which celebrated 40 years in business in October.

Computacenter continues to expand in its US-based rivals' backyard, with North American sales vaulting 165 per cent to $1.26bn in its H1 2021 on the back of its acquisitions of FusionStorm and Pivot. This propelled Computacenter's total H1 revenues to a record £3.18bn.

Covid impact

Covid-related cost reductions - including lower travel expenses - are helping Computacenter deliver record levels of profits. It saw group pre-tax profits rocket 59 per cent to £115.2m in H1 2021.

The pandemic had a dual impact on its UK top line last year, with booming product sales giving with one hand what lower professional services activity took away with the other. Thankfully, the latter has rebounded in 2021, growing 37 per cent to £75m in H1 as previously delayed projects recommenced. Its technology sourcing business, meanwhile, continues to enjoy some residual demand from Covid (with H1 revenues up 10 per cent to £707m).

"The vast majority of our customers have returned to business as normal and, other than the reduction to our cost base due to the inability to travel and a continued improvement in the utilisation of our technical resources, COVID-19 is now having very little impact on our business," CEO Mike Norris said back in September.

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