1 Softcat

Doug Woodburn
clock • 2 min read

Gross invoiced income: £1.94bn (+18%)

Net profit: 5%     Staff: 1,636

Following an organic growth run that has seen its top line swell from £220m to virtually £2bn in the space of a decade, Softcat finally gets the cream in this year's Top VARs.

The Marlow-based reseller recorded gross invoiced income (GII) of £1.94bn in its year to 31 July 2021, an 18 per cent annual hike that puts it nearly £200m clear of Computacenter's UK revenue tally (Computacenter's UK GII figure may be close to Softcat's, but it doesn't publicly disclose it and was not in a position to break it out for us this year).

Founded in 1993 by Peter Kelly and listed on the LSE since 2015, Softcat has scaled rapidly through a growth formula predicated on selling more to existing customers and winning new ones.

Its fiscal 2021 was more about the former than the latter as the pandemic made it harder to engage with new prospects. While Softcat's customer base rose 2.3 per cent to 9,700, gross profit per customer zoomed up 14.6 per cent.

The FTSE 250 outfit said its 2021 performance benefited from a "small number of very large one-time deals" in its H1, as well as Covid-related savings on travel, events and other costs. CEO Graeme Watt admitted this will create some "headwinds" in 2022, but predicted operating profits next year will be in line with the £119.4m record notched up in 2021.

At a "relatively low" four per cent, Softcat's estimated share of a total addressable UK&I market it pegs at £45bn means "we are not limited by opportunity", Watt claimed in its annual accounts.

"Reassuringly, our strategic direction remains unchanged - perhaps not surprising given our track record. We will focus on growing faster than the market and taking share through generating more business with existing customers and at the same time adding new customers," he said.

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