Computacenter hints at expansion after strong 2017

The firm has released its full year numbers and indicated the over the next few years it would look to expand its geographical footprint

Computacenter enjoyed a strong 2017 and delivered full year numbers that showed it is riding the digital transformation wave and enjoying services growth.

Group revenues improved by 16.9% to £3.79bn and pre-tax profits were also up by 22.9% to £106.2m. Services revenues grew 11.5% to £1.2m.

There were signs that the UK has "re-established positive sales momentum" with growth of 8.8% in full year revenue. But challenges in the supply chain side and increasing SG&A played their part in a 18.2% decline in operating profit. Supply chain revenues were up 10.1%, services improved by 6.6% but managed services could only improve by 0.2%.

Germany was firing on all cylinders with revenue growth of 15.5% and 57% climbs in operating profit. France also did better than expected with 13% turnover improvements.

The net result of decent revenue performances in the three countries was to help the firm deliver record numbers for last year.

There are signs that the firm expects that momentum to continue and Mike Norris, chief executive at Computacenter, gave his views on what was in store for the UK.

"The UK business should return to operating profit growth in 2018, helped by recent contract wins and solid market conditions," he said.

"The two major trends that we have highlighted over the last few years have strengthened still further. Firstly, our customers’ appetite to invest in digitalisation to enhance their customers’ and users’ experience continues to grow. Secondly, our customers increasingly want to reduce the ongoing cost of running their IT, by introducing more innovative solutions such as automation. These trends are driving Computacenter’s growth in Supply Chain and Professional Services and are motivating us to invest, and to enhance our competitiveness in Managed Services, which we are," added Norris.

There was also a hint from Norris that the firm might look beyond the UK, France and Germany to expand the business: "We are hopeful that we will grow our footprint beyond our current geographies more successfully in the coming years".

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