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Softcat surges as strong first half leads to upgraded full year forecasts

The FTSE 250 IT group said its full year was now expected to be “marginally ahead” of previous expectations after profits jumped by around £10mln in the first six months
Computer hardware
The group also added 620 customers in the period, increasing its total to around 10,100

Softcat PLC (LON:SCT) shares surged in mid-morning trading Tuesday after the FTSE 250 IT group upgraded its full-year profit forecasts on the back of a strong first-half performance.

In the six months ended January 31, the company reported a pre-tax profit of £34mln, up from £24.1mln a year ago while revenues jumped to £434mln from £358mln.

READ: IT specialist Softcat “materially ahead” of expectations after stellar December

The group also added 620 customers in the period, increasing its total by 6.5% to around 10,100.

As a result of the improved performance, the firm’s interim dividend was hiked 36% to 4.5p.

Graeme Watt, Softcat’s chief executive, said the period had been characterised by “additional market share gains” as well as an uptick in gross profit per customer of almost 20%.

“Those metrics extended our run of unbroken year-on-year income and profit growth to the 54th quarter.”

Looking forward, Watt added that the company now expected its full year to be “marginally ahead” of previous expectations.

The increased forecasts followed a previous update in December when Softcat said it had been “materially ahead” of where it had expected to be at the end of its first quarter, contrasting predictions from October that warned “exceptional market conditions” would make it difficult to keep up the pace of growth.

Shares were up 4.9% at 878p.

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