Amid talk of Brexit uncertainty, Computacenter has issued a pre-close trading update that showed the sales dials for calendar ’18 pointing upwards. And it was boring old tech reselling that helped it get there.
Back in October, the services-based reseller reported 3 per cent slide in revenues for Q3 that caused its share price to slump by one-fifth, though at the time the firm did say that trade would improve in Q4.
In a note to the London Stock Exchange today, Computacenter said it had indeed “outperformed” forecasts to post “record revenues” and pre-tax profits “marginally ahead” of expectations for the year.
Excluding trade from buys made during 2018 – Misco Netherlands and StormForce in the US – group sales were up 8 per cent: services grew 1 per cent and product reselling bounced 11 per cent.
In the UK – Computacenter is HQ’d in London – sales were up 10 per cent; services decreased 5 per cent and kit and software sales jumped a whopping 17 per cent.
Ops in Germany grew 9 per cent with services and product sales up 6 and 11 per cent respectively. Over in France, revenue declined 3 per cent and the International unit was up 12 per cent. And so to the year ahead.
Many in the IT supply chain are braced for a challenging time should the UK exit the EU without a trade agreement. Vendors are already preparing for that worst case scenario. Analysts (Forrester and Gartner) – if you put your stall in such things – have forecast a decline in customer spending due to the uncertainty of Brexit.
Computacenter made no mention of the B word and forecast “financial progress” for itself for 2019.
“The first half performance in 2018 will create a challenging comparison but positive market momentum, driven by our customers’ appetite to invest in digital technology to enhance their business gives the Board confidence in the future.”
Megabuyte analyst Indraneel Arampatta said today that following Brit reseller Softcat’s warning about Brexit clouds gathering, “there was some worry that very healthy demand for IT product across the UK and Europe was starting to ease”.
He added: “However, Softcat has since gone on to deliver a stellar first half and, based on this update, Computacenter certainly seems back on track. It seems spending continues at a rapid pace as companies of all sizes (Softcat’s core base is still largely SMBs while Computacenter targets the larger enterprises and governmental organisations) continue to spend on digital transformation projects and technology refreshes.” ®