ComputerCorp flags heavy losses

ComputerCorp flags heavy losses

Substantial transformation and reconstruction blamed for worrying result

WA-based IT services provider, ComputerCorp, has flagged a likely loss of $17.8 million for the year ended June 30 on revenues of $145 million.

The preliminary financial report notes that the loss was "clearly not acceptable to the board". However, "substantial transformation and reconstruction" of the company was partly to blame, it said.

CEO, Robin Rindel, said the result, of which $3.1 million was a trading loss, was disappointing.

"It was a tough year for us. It was our first year as a listed company but obviously we hoped to do a lot better than that," he said.

Rindel said the transition to public company status had imposed its own pressures. The departure of three senior executives including founder and CEO, Hugh Smith, had also had an impact and resourcing inefficiencies had seen it fail to take advantage of last year's buoyant IT market, he said.

"We also had a significant amount of duplication, so we closed [excess] warehousing and centres down in each state except Perth and Canberra. We do a lot of business there but everywhere else will be served from Sydney," Rindel said.

Staff numbers have been reduced by a third to about 200 over the past year. Rindel said this generated significant savings.

"We were profitable in June and July," he said. "I think we're through the worst."

Rindel said he had only effectively been on board since January. ComputerCorp has also just taken on Peter Cappendell to manage sales in WA, Tasmania, SA and the ACT. Former Cisco business manager at LAN Systems, Tony Heywood, was brought in to head up sales in NSW, Queensland and Victoria.

The first full public report, as a result of listing during the 2006-07 fiscal year, should be available by the end of September, Rindel said. The company recorded annual revenues of $145 million in the 2005-06 financial year.

The solution provider wants to raise $5 million to fund working capital and acquisitions, according to an ASX announcement on August 31. The plan is to improve its finances by way of a convertible note with an interest rate of 10 per cent per annum, expiring August 31, 2011.

TCB Investment Holdings would underwrite the financing if shareholders approved, the announcement said.

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