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British computer giant Specialist Computer Holdings expects sales to grow to £2 billion next year.

Peter Rigby, chairman and CEO of the Birmingham company, said sales would grow by around a third for the 12 months ending March 31 2002.

These figures compared to £1.5 billion in the financial year 2000 to 2001, and £600 million for 1999 to 2000.

The statement followed SCH's agreement to buy Compelsource - the desktop business of fellow computer reseller Compel. SCH said yesterday it would pay up to £18.5 million for the division. The move will increase its workforce by 850 to around 3,000.

Rigby told the FT he believed the reason for the strong growth was that the company remained privately traded. "Many of our competitors have not made the investments we have in infrastructure and management, and we have been very successful in winning business from them," he said, adding that publicy quoted businesses were "in some disarray".

Compelsource made an operating loss of £4.3 million for the six months ended December 2000. ®

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