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Computacenter Says Profit to Approach Top of Estimates

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Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Computacenter Plc, the supplier of computer services to BT Group Plc, said 2010 adjusted pretax profit is likely to be toward the “top end” of analyst estimates as demand for services grew.

Services sales climbed 6 percent, the Hatfield, England-based company said in a Thomson Reuters ONE statement today. Net cash excluding customer financing for the year to Dec. 31 was 138.6 million pounds ($215.7 million) compared with 86.4 million pounds a year earlier.

“Customers are refreshing, upgrading, improving and investing in their IT infrastructures and we are well placed to meet those needs,” Chief Executive Officer Mike Norris said in the statement. “The growth of long-term services contract revenue remains fundamental to the long-term success for Computacenter.”

Computacenter, which signed a deal with international law firm Eversheds last year to help move all of its lawyers to Apple iPads, said revenue rose 12 percent in Germany and by 17 percent in France.

“The macro-environment is improving in terms of IT spend,” George O’Conner, a London-based analyst with Panmure Gordon U.K. Ltd. said by phone today. “They’ve got lots of cash and we want to see what they will do with that. Any M&A will probably be in the U.K. and they might use cash to work on underlying profitability in France.”

O’Conner recommends buying the stock.

Computacenter shares added 9.1 percent to 420 pence at the 4:30 p.m. close in London, its highest level since September 2004. At that price, the company has a market value of 646 million pounds ($1 billion).

To contact the reporter on this story: Renee Lawrence in London at rlawrence7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge in London at Ckeatinge@bloomberg.net

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