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January 14, 2009

Computacenter to centre on servers and service

Cans PC sales operation

By Jason Stamper

European reseller and IT services company Computacenter is to stop the trade distribution of personal computers and printers in a bid to further improve margins.

Computacenter’s push into infrastructure support, systems integration and managed services appears to be paying off. In a trading update the company has said its full-year adjusted pre-tax profit would beat market consensus forecasts of £38.1m ($55.4m).

In the UK, for the year as whole, sales grew by 2.5% to £1.39bn ($2.02bn). Services contracts grew by 6% over 2007 and will begin to have a positive impact during the first half of 2009.

The computer hardware and services supplier also said it made good progress improving margins in Germany, and that business in France had performed less well but better than in 2007.

It said its decision to stop the trade distribution of PC and printers in favour of sales of higher margin servers, storage and associated products is likely to reduce 2009 revenue by £70m ($1bn). This would not impact unfavourably on operating profits and would help free approximately £15m ($21.8m) of working capital.

From a background as a hardware reseller, Computacenter has changed its profile in recent years acquiring a string of services companies to improve sales margins, and to gain a foothold from which to expand into continental Europe.

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