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Computacenter Plc Makes A First-Half Loss

The share price of Computacenter   (LSE: CCC) — which provides IT infrastructure services to European public and private sector customers — is currently up 0.6%, following publication of the company’s interim results for the first half of 2013.

Reported pre-tax profit rose 1.9%, to £26.2m, on revenue that grew 1.42%, to £1.43bn (actually down 1.7% on a constant currency basis). However, on a statutory basis there was a pre-tax loss of £4.3m, in contrast with 2012’s first half pre-tax profit of £20.8m. This was the result of £29.3 million of exceptional items in the period, which was mainly provisioning for three underperforming contracts in Germany.

Adjusted diluted earnings per share dipped 1.6%, to 12.5p. But again, on a statutory basis there was actually a diluted loss per share of 5.7p, compared with earnings of 10p per share in H1 2012. The board has proposed an interim dividend of 5.2p per share, up 4% on 2012’s.

Commenting on the results, chief executive Mike Norris said:

Trading remains in line with the Board’s expectations for the year, with the exception of the provisions we have made in respect of our three onerous contracts in Germany.

 We believe that the performance of the Group during the first half of 2013, excluding the three onerous contracts in Germany and the issues we have faced in our French business, has been one of our best ever.  We are confident that we can maintain the momentum of our general success and solve our isolated issues.

At the time of writing, Computacenter’s share price is 517.5p. That’s up 9.4% so far in 2013, which is only about the same as the FTSE 100 index, but 25% on this time last year — almost double the FTSE 100’s gain.

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> Jon doesn’t own shares in Computacenter.