Computacenter half year profits up 25pc

IT firm Computacenter said it was on track for the year after product sales in Germany and France and continued overall demand for IT services delivered a 25 per cent rise in first-half pretax profit.

The company, which counts Lloyds Banking Group as a customer, posted adjusted pretax profit of £26.6n on group revenue, including acquisitions of £1.37bn, up 5.9 per cent.

The strong contribution from France and Germany helped offset a weaker product performance in the UK, it said.

"While much remains to be done and economic uncertainty persists, we remain on track to achieve the Board's expectations for 2011," chief executive Mike Norris said in a statement.

Growth in Germany would slow in the second half against a tougher comparative a year ago, he said, but the UK should deliver an improved performance.

"Overall therefore, we are unlikely to see the same percentage of growth at the group level, as experienced in the first half," he said.

The group is paying an interim dividend of 4.5 pence a share, up 28.6 per cent on the payout a year ago.

Analysts at Investec, who predict pre-tax profit of £73.8m for the year, up from £66.1m, said the first-half results demonstrated growth and resilience.

"The decline in UK product sales (a few large customers reducing spend) was compensated at the profit line by a strong cost focus and managed services margin expansion," they said.