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Softcat slides after strong interims fail to prevent profit-taking

The mix of revenue shifted slightly from services to hardware in the period, with the hardware mix rising to 34.8% from 33.3%
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Softcat PLC (LON:SCT), the provider of information technology infrastructure products, failed to land on its feet after issuing its interims.

The FTSE 250 company's shares were down 14% at 586.91p as traders used the occasion of the release of half-year results to bank profits after the stock's recent good run.

READ: Berenberg gives Softcat shares a boost, upgrading to 'buy' after raising its price target

Revenue in the six months to the end of January rose 24.9% to £472.8mln from £378.5mln in the corresponding period a year earlier.

The mix of revenue shifted slightly from services to hardware in the period, with the hardware mix rising to 34.8% from 33.3%. 

Customer numbers rose to around 10,600 from 10,000 the year before, representing growth of 6.0%, while gross profit per customer increased 15.3% to £7,100 from £6,100.

Profit before tax advanced to £24.15mln from £20.98mln the year before.

“We are benefiting from strong market demand for all our offerings and from all our major customer segments and continue to relentlessly pursue our simple strategy of doing more business with our existing customers and winning new customers.  These latest results further demonstrate that this strategy is working and I'd like to thank our fantastic people for their great work and dedication to customer service,” claimed Martin Hellawell, currently the chief executive officer of Softcat but soon to be the chairman when Graeme Watt joins next month.

“We added 600 new customers in the period while gross profit per customer grew by more than 15%.  Those metrics extended our run of unbroken revenue and profit growth to a 50th quarter,” Hellawell observed.

The Softcat boss said the second half of the financial year had started well and the board is confident of meeting expectations for the full year.

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