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Computacenter positive about second half

Channel player has seen robust trading over the past couple of months, which should give analysts following the business some food for thought

PC sale figures, indications from distribution that projects are coming back online and a trading statement from Computacenter all indicate that the second half of the year is looking solid.

Making comparisons with a coronavirus-ravaged 2020 is always going to be difficult, but the channel player issued an upbeat statement to investors which indicates that even if things stay on track, the year is going to close out well.

The firm said: “The exceptionally good performance in the second half of 2020 makes a more difficult comparison than we have experienced in the first half of this year, but even with a flat performance in the second half of 2021 compared to the second half of last year, we would finish the year 10% ahead of current market expectations of the group’s full-year 2021 adjusted profit before tax.”

The channel player has been providing regular guidance to the markets, with an update at the end of July, and has used the latest update to reveal that trading in July and August has continued to be “robust”.

However, Computacenter has found itself having to provide more trading details because of the mixed responses from those that follow the business. “After our 21 July 2021 statement, current market forecasts have remained below the board’s expectations,” it said. “This is because less than half of the analysts covering Computacenter have upgraded their forecast subsequent to the 21 July statement.”

That update in late July revealed that Computacenter, which has delivered 16 years of continual growth, was going to continue that trend. Numbers for the six months to 30 June indicated that the firm was set to deliver adjusted pre-tax profits about 50% ahead of the same period last year and there had been decent organic growth in both technology sourcing and services growth in the UK, Germany and the US.

The theme of the latest short trading update was positive and echoed the experiences of others in the channel that expect the ongoing return to more normal trading conditions will spark further spending through the rest of Q3 and Q4.

The firm added: “While visibility in our business is never perfect, given the momentum in the business, a substantial order backlog, the successful acquisitions and a strong forecast, we will endeavour to beat last year’s second-half performance, not just match it.”

Investors only have a few more days to wait, to 9 September, to get further details in the firm’s interim results.

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