Computacenter Q1 indicates life is getting back to normal

It’s been difficult to talk about season patterns with a pandemic raging, but as we all learn to live with Covid, there are signs that this also means getting used to more familiar trading conditions

Computacenter has seen the markets in which it operates start to return to a more normal footing after a couple of years impacted by the pandemic and, as a result, has delivered a more familiar-looking first-quarter trading update.

What is expected with the channel player is that the arrows will point upwards, and again the firm indicated that for the first three months of 2022 there has been strong top-line growth.

Adjusted pre-tax profits will be more “modest” in Q1, said the firm, “due to one very large volume customer that has diluted our overall margin”.

It will be difficult for firms to make comparisons with 2021, which was a period impacted by Covid, and there are clear signs that the world is getting back to normal.

“The substantial removal of lockdown measures in the geographies in which we operate has meant a return to a more normal, and more sustainable, post-Covid-19 cost base,” said Computacenter.

“The first half of 2021 creates a more challenging comparison than the year as a whole, so to be ahead of 2021 in profit terms after the first quarter is pleasing.”

Looking ahead, Computacenter warned that pre-tax profits for the first half were likely to be down this year compared with 2021, but would be in line with historical seasonality, which is another sign of a market returning to a more normal footing. Because of that return to a more typical trading pattern, the firm was confident that it would benefit from trends that have traditionally seen a strong second half.

“We remain confident that FY2022 will be a year of further progress, and we remain on track for the year as a whole,” said the update.

Computacenter has been busy updating investors on its plans and progress, also sharing details of where it has got to on the sustainability front, earlier this week.

The firm informed investors of its aims to reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions, saying that if it hit the target to be carbon-neutral in those two areas, it would be five years earlier than it had originally planned.

The business has been moving in that direction for a while and the channel player’s Sustainability report for 2021 indicated that scope 1 and 2 emissions, which include direct emissions such as facilities, and indirect including electricity used, were about 74% lower last year than in 2019.

The firm is also a decade ahead of its aim of being net zero, with scope 3 emissions – covering things like travel and transportation and supply chain activity – also being actively reduced.

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