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Computacenter tumbles 20 percent on muted fourth quarter forecast

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(Reuters) – Computacenter Plc <CCC.L> lost one-fifth of its value on Wednesday, as dour market conditions across most geographies forced the British IT services firm to provide a tepid forecast for the current quarter.

The company, which reported a 3 percent dip in quarterly revenue, said it expects improved growth before acquisitions for the fourth quarter, but the level would not match the first half of the year.

The comments come about four months after the company said it expects full-year results to be “comfortably in excess” of its prior expectations, on the back of good momentum in its supply chain business across all geographies, particularly Germany. [nL3N1VF2QQ]

The company on Wednesday also posted a 9 percent fall in UK revenue in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, with revenue at its technology sourcing business down 12 percent.

Computacenter shares fell to 1,034 pence, knocking 240 million pounds off its market capitalisation, and were on track to see their biggest intraday percent loss since March 2009. The stock had gained nearly 9 percent over the past year, excluding losses on Wednesday.

Shares of Computacenter, which started in 1981 as a reseller of computers, also tumbled to the bottom of the FTSE 250 <.FTSE> index and sank to their lowest level since Nov. 30, 2017.

Competitors, including Accenture Plc <ACN.N>, Wipro Ltd <WIPR.NS> and Softcat, have challenged Computacenter’s growth trajectory even as customers have invested more in digitalising their businesses.

Engineering software company Aveva Group PLC <AVV.L>, Computacenter’s rival which focuses on the power and marine industries, recently reported low double digit revenue growth in the first half.

($1 = 0.7852 pounds)

(Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru)

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