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UK performance takes shine off Computacenter first half

Simon Quicke

The UK continues to drag down the performance of Computacenter with a poor performance in the professional services business a blot on the channel player's half year numbers.

Overall the services side of the business was the bright spot with revenue in that part of the business growing by 6% year-on-year for the six months ended 30 June.

Revenue in H1 increased by 5% to £1.37bn from £1.29bn in the same period last year, helped by contributions from its recent acquisitions and pre-tax profits rose by 24/9% to £26.6m.

But it was the performance of the UK, where a drop in revenue of 16% to £547.3m was due to a decline of product revenue performance and a relatively flat services market that was the disappointment.

The decline in large construction projects hit the cabling side of the business and contributed to the drop in the services side of the UK operation by 6%.

But revenues in Germany and France helped improve the Group's profitability and offset the problems in the UK.

Mike Norris, chief executive of Computacenter, said that things should improve in the UK in the second half of the year as the growth in Germany slowed slightly.

"While much remains to be done and economic uncertainty persists, we remain on track to achieve the Board's expectations for 2011," he said.

"Over time out increasing contractual services mix means Computacenter is less reliant on capital projects, which tend to be more exposed to economic uncertainty," he added.

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