Trading across all of our major geographies has been robust throughout the first half of 2021, as noted in our 29th April trading update, with particular strength at the end of the second quarter. This means that the Group will deliver an adjusted profit before tax for the first half of 2021 circa 50% ahead of the same period last year. We have seen strong organic Technology Sourcing and Services Growth in the UK, Germany and the US.
There have been substantial supply shortages in the industry caused by the shortage of key components, and we have seen a strengthening of the pound against other currencies. Without these two factors our profitability would have been even further ahead.
We have seen particular strengths from our German operation compared to last year in Q2 due to the majority of our industrial clients now being fully operational.
We have also been extremely pleased with the financial performance from our US operations, a large part of which was only acquired during Q4 2020.
The UK showed some progress in the first half even though it had by far the most challenging comparison in the Group, following a very strong second quarter in 2020.
The integration of our newly acquired French networking business is on plan and we have seen an uptick in performance from our subsidiaries in Belgium and the Netherlands.
As we enter the second half of the year our Services backlog and more particularly our Product backlog, across all geographies, are at a record high which gives us a high degree of comfort. We do however remain concerned about product shortages within the industry and obviously further strengthening of the pound would create a stronger FX translation headwind, but we are not predicting either of these headwinds to get any worse.
After a record breaking performance in 2020, as we entered into 2021, there was some understandable scepticism as to whether Computacenter could continue with its 16 years of uninterrupted earnings per share growth. Given the performance in the first half, the current backlogs and the forecast to the end of the year, while nothing in life is ever certain and we face a stronger comparative in the second half, it is highly likely that 2021 will be another year of substantial progress for the Group.
This level of financial performance, coupled with the performance over the last 40 years, can only be achieved because Computacenter continually adapts to our rapidly changing industry in an agile manner which enables it to deliver the relevant services and solutions to its customers now and into the future.
We look forward to announcing the Group's Interim Results on Wednesday 9 September 2021.
James Macey White / Matt Low
+44 20 7353 4200
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