The FTSE 250 business is pushing to put its shareholder payout back on track after soaring profits as clients tapped Computacenter’s vast resources and expertise to help staff switch to homeworking.
The proposed payout would mean a 400% increase on 2019 after axing its second half dividend for the previous year in early 2020 as the company looked to retain cash in the face of the Covid pandemic.
PROFITS SOAR ON HOMEWORKING SHIFT
For the year to 31 December 2020 pre-tax profit jumped 37% to £200.5 million after adjusting for extraordinary items despite revenues rising 7.7% to £5.44 billion. The company admitted that its growing public sector exposure helped enormously.
‘The significant reductions in expenditure from industrial customers have been offset by new business within the public sector and financial services,’ the company said. Public sector income added up to 32% of the group total having increased 37% through 2020.
‘Investors will be keeping a keen eye on how battered public finances will fare as lockdown ends,’ said Megabuyte analyst Indraneel Arampatta. ‘There might be worries that public sector spending will ease before industrials start to recover,’ the analyst added.
BOSS REMAINS VERY OPTIMISTIC
But Computacenter management gave little indication that it is overly worried about the medium and longer-term future.
‘Growth rates are obviously difficult to predict as our geographies will come out of lockdown at different times, but our experiences of the last 12 months has convinced us more than ever that our customers will continue to invest in Information Technology and will require the services of Computacenter to enable them to do so,’ said Computacenter CEO Mike Norris.
‘Combined with the fact that we are growing in more geographies and across more technology platforms than we have ever done before makes us even more excited about our long-term growth potential,’ Norris said.
Computacenter stock rose nearly 3% to £23.40, having been dragged lower in recent weeks in line with the wider growth and technology sell-off.