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Computacenter’s half-year’s numbers have added to the growing evidence that the channel has come through the worst of the lockdown in robust form.
On 21 July, Context revealed that June had been a strong month for the channel across Western Europe, with the market showing increasing signs of recovery as the lockdown eases and life slowly gets back to a more normal footing.
That analysis has now been followed with a trading update from Computacenter covering its first half (H1) ended 30 June.
The channel player saw its pre-tax profits come in “substantially ahead of the same period last year”, according to the update.
Inevitably, the pandemic has had an impact on the business, but the spread of technologies offered by Computacenter gave it the chance to offset most of the problems.
“While most of our industrial clients have been quiet, elsewhere there has been a surge in demand for IT equipment to enable home working, which has considerably helped our performance, but this is only part of the story,” said the update.
“Computacenter’s customers have turned to our services offerings and the skills of our people at what has been a challenging and demanding time for corporate IT functions. This is testament to the strength of our customer base, the relationships we have with those customers, and the value we deliver to them.”
As a result of the business delivered in the first six months, the firm is now expecting profits to improve in the second half, with the board gaining more confidence about forecasting growth.
“While for obvious reasons 2020 is a difficult year to predict, given the performance of the first half, the demand for our services, the current managed services opportunity pipeline and the strength of our customer base, the board believe that 2020, as a whole, will be a year of material progress for Computacenter, following a record-breaking 2019,” the update added.
The channel player has been using acquisition as a means of bolstering the bottom line, recently sealing the deal for BT’s domestic French operations, after the consultations with local work councils was completed. That acquisition should be wrapped up before the end of the year, bolstering the firm’s operations on the other side of the channel.
“This transaction significantly strengthens our business in France, and we are excited to discuss the benefits with our customers and partners. We plan to operate the acquired business as a separate subsidiary of Computacenter France, retaining the existing leadership,” said Arnaud Lepinois, CEO of Computacenter France.