Computacenter warns of 20% fall in PC prices

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The Independent Online

Rapid price deflation in personal computers, with Hewlett-Packard selling units for as little as £300 each, put the brakes on Computacenter's revenues for the six months to 30 June.

Rapid price deflation in personal computers, with Hewlett-Packard selling units for as little as £300 each, put the brakes on Computacenter's revenues for the six months to 30 June.

The company, which supplies computers and other hardware to the business market, said that on average PC prices had fallen 20 per cent since January last year, although bulk contracts were seeing desk-top computers being sold at even bigger discounts.

Mike Norris, the chief executive, said: "We supplied a client with HP computers that came out at just over £300 each but you have to remember that organisation was buying 30,000 PCs. You're not going to go down the high street and buy a PC for £300 but you might buy one for £400."

The company said revenues were flat at £1.25bn but cost cutting and a strong performance from its managed services division meant pre-tax profits were up 3.7 per cent to £33.2m. It said market conditions remained "challenging", with central government IT spending down, although banks and insurers had increased spending.

Managed services, which supplies on-site help desks and desktop and server maintenance, saw sales grow 18.7 per cent to £300m, providing a bright spot for the company.

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