Shares in IT firm Softcat fizzed in morning trading after after the pandemic helped drive strong growth in both revenue and profit for the second half of the year.
The FTSE 250 firm reported revenue of £577m in the six months to the end of January — up 10 per cent on the same period last year. Gross profit surged by a fifth to £134.5m.
Softcat said the strong performance was driven by a continued boost to trading as well as Covid-related operating cost savings.
As a result, the firm said it expected full-year results to be significantly ahead of previous forecasts and said it will hike its interim dividend from 5.4p to 6.4p.
Shares in Softcat jumped more than 16 per cent following the announcement.
The Buckinghamshire-based IT firm, which counts Microsoft, Amazon Web Services and Cisco among its partners, reported a 1.5 per cent increase in its customer base over the period to 9,600.
Softcat also expanded its headcount by 12 per cent over the last year to 1,658.
“We are pleased with the strong performance in the first half of the financial year in which we continued to grow and take share in a market that has remained relatively resilient during the pandemic,” said chief executive Graeme Watt.
“We did see a reduction in income from some corporate customers during the last quarter of our previous financial year, but during the current period that effect has gradually diminished. In addition, the business has benefitted from a temporary reduction to some elements of the cost base, although we expect this to normalise as the second half develops.”