Computacenter interim statement upbeat despite revealing £1.2m hit of financial customer collapse

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Computacenter interim statement upbeat despite revealing £1.2m hit of financial customer collapse

Simon Quicke

Computacenter has provided some cheer for those looking for signs of robustness in the IT sector with a fairly upbeat interim management statement despite revealing the impact of the collapse of one major financial customer.

The corporate reseller reported a revenue increase of 6% for its Q3 helped by the strength of the euro against the pound. But at constant currency levels revenue would have remained flat.

UK sales were up 2% to £310m and the business in Germany benefited from more demand for services, while France saw a drop of 19% in revenue.

In a statement a reference was made to the difficulties that the reseller had experienced with certain customers, which includes Lehman Brother's, the financial institution that is likely to have been the company responsible for a £1.2m loss, but remained relatively upbeat.

"While we have not been immune from current economic difficulties it has to date been isolated to a few specific customers and has not had a material effect on the business as a whole. In particular, the Group has incurred a bad debt of £1.2m following the bankruptcy of a major financial services client. However it is expected there may be other offsetting unrelated gains during Q4 to mitigate this impact," said the statement.

It added that it expected Q4 to be in line with last year's performance: "While the fourth quarter is always the most important period of the year for us and there is much uncertainty in the marketplace, we take a great deal of encouragement and confidence from the performance of the business throughout the last two quarters."

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