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Exertis parent DCC swallows Computers Unlimited for £24m

Consolidation, consolidation, consolidation

DCC Technology has acquired consumer tech distie Computers Unlimited for £24m, the Ireland-headquartered group confirmed today.

The buy adds roughly 2,000 trading accounts, offices in London, Paris and Barcelona that employ roughly 200 staff and hardware/software from 70 vendors including Adobe, Epson and WD.

CU operates four business units that target Premium Audio, Gadgets and Accessories, Creative Pro and Education & Business. In the year to 30 April 2014, turnover was £146m, up 22 per cent year-on-year and it made an operating profit of £2.13m, rising from £919k.

As is customary in these circumstances, everyone involved at both companies were equally proud and excited, but in terms of prepared comments said nothing that was remotely quotable.

DCC - one of the last tech disties of size that is not owned by a US corporation - also today outlined results for the year ended 31 March, with sales edging up 3.7 per cent in constant currency to £2.35bn, the UK and Ireland accounting for nearly four fifths of this.

This included trade from an acquisition in Sweden made in September - the CapTech business turns over roughly £140m a year.

DCC flagged up “strong growth” across the Brit reseller channel fuelled by demand for servers, storage, networking and security, partially offset by a decline in sales of tabs and smartphones to retailers. The gaming market was up on the latest consoles from Sony and Microsoft.

In mainland Europe, the business grew organically in France and expanded into Sweden.

Operating profit was up 2.6 per cent, helped by stricter cost controls, and the operating margin was flat at 2.1 per cent. ®

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