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Predicting the future is extremely difficult at the moment, and Softcat has struck a cautious note about the future while revealing in a trading statement that it finished the year strongly.
The channel player released its Q1 numbers for the three months ended October 2020 back in November, and has updated investors now the year has been completed.
The firm indicated that trading since those Q1 numbers had been “positive”, but was also clear about the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the potential impact on its second half.
“The corporate picture has continued to improve but is also somewhat mixed, with some customers pursuing large projects and others taking a more cautious approach,” the firm stated.
“Ongoing investment in our multinational and technical capabilities, which continued throughout 2020 despite the challenges of Covid-19, has enabled us to play an important role in these large projects with both corporate and public sector customers.”
Softcat’s second half will also include the initial impact of Brexit and the freshly announced third national lockdown.
“Much still needs to be done in the second half of the financial year, which remains difficult to forecast, but with the seasonally important December trading period behind us, we are significantly ahead of where we expected to be at this stage,” the statement concluded.
The trading update also mentioned its performance in the public sector, which comes a day after the firm appointed former VMware staffer Louise Fellows as as public sector director.
Meanwhile, Agilitas pointed to steps taken to automate its supply chain as helping deliver turnover of £14m in FY19/20, with a 21.8% year-on-year increase in EBITDA profits.
Services play a key role, with the firm launching six fresh propositions during the fiscal year, including SMART logistics, EPOS and printer maintenance, and device-as-a-service, with 75% of the business now coming from recurring revenues.
Over the course of the year, the business also rolled out supply chain automation at its Nottingham-based international logistics hub, which supports more than 67 countries, to reduce overheads and improve customer experience. The number of countries it operates in continued to expand, with 20 more recently added.
“As a company with a passion to innovate, we are continuously looking to improve our partner services portfolio to put their needs at the heart of our business,” said Shaun Lynn, CEO of Agilitas.
“Covid-19 restrictions have only accelerated our approach to innovation,” he said. “From enhancements to our online quoting portal, AssureMeNow, to other services designed to help our partners during this challenging time, we still maintain our world-class support services, which have produced tangible results for our partners both in the UK and internationally.”