Computacenter Ltd, the fast growing IBM personal computer hardware, software and value added services dealer and distributor is planning a Stock Exchange debut within the next year or two – and it’s likely to come during the first half of next year. Computacenter managing director Philip Hulme says that the company is getting too big for its venture capital backers and will have to turn to the stock market for future funds. The company, established in 1981 is looking for profits of about UKP5m on turnover of UKP110m this year – which would represent a two-and-a-half-fold profits increase on the UKP2m pre tax recorded last year, on turnover doubled from UKP55m. For the first quarter of this year turnover was up 113% at UKP22.7m. Foreign & Colonial Ventures, Baring Venture Capital and Alan Patricof Associates share a 50% stake in the company with Computacenter’s principals and employees holding the balance. The company sees no need to diversify because there is scope for more growth within its traditional core business – selling computers and value added services such as training, support and maintenance to corporate clients. Computacenter is very secretive about the performance of its various divisions and refuses – in the nicest possible way – to divulge details such as the percentage of turnover generated by hardware sales against software, or overall sales against services such as training, although it hints that services will grow as a proportion of the whole. Last week, London services operations transferred to a new 20,000 square foot office in the City.
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