GLOBAL technology company Datatec warned yesterday that gross margins from March to June came under "some pressure", particularly at subsidiary Westcon, in developed markets.

But the group's forecast of an increase in revenue for the six months to August remains.

The company released its interim management statement yesterday, which covers the four-month period from March to June. It said trading and underlying earnings were continuing to improve but growth was slowing in a weakening economic environment as the fallout from the eurozone economic problems spread globally. "However, based on current exchange rates and trading conditions, the group's forecasts for the financial year remain unchanged."

Overall group revenue has improved across all divisions in comparison with the four months ended June last year, it said.

Datatec forecasts revenue of between $5,5bn and $5,8bn for the year to February. Profit after tax is expected to be $104m, while underlying earnings per share should reach 55c and earnings and headline earnings per share 50c. Underlying earnings exclude financial instruments such as goodwill and intangibles impairment, acquisition-related adjustments and profit or loss on sale of assets and businesses.

The company's revenue for the past year to February was $5,03bn, while underlying earnings per share were 47,9c.

Datatec CEO Jens Montanana said the diversity of the business's revenue streams and global footprint had once again enabled the group to improve revenue and underlying earnings in a difficult environment.

"Although the outlook has become more uncertain, the defensive nature of our business model continues to be a strong asset," Mr Montanana said.

Datatec shares lost 2,33% to close at R47,35 yesterday.

mochikot@bdfm.co.za