Lloydspharmacy parent Celesio is to save up to €200m (£186.2m) by outsourcing the group’s IT infrastructure.

The UK pharmacy chain’s IT infrastructure will be outsourced to HP as part of a seven-year deal. German parent Celesio wants to standardise and centralise its IT infrastructure across Europe.

Celesio has begun the transition phase, which will be followed by a business transformation phase. HP will manage both central and local IT services in all of Celesio’s 14 European markets, and the health and beauty giant expects cost savings across the group.

172 staff will move over from Celesio to HP and technology services provider EDS – owned by HP – said there would be no redundancies in the immediate future.

Celesio chief financial officer Christian Holzherr said the initiative “will enable us to reduce operating costs to free up resources for investments and increase flexibility for business changes and growth over the years”.

The transformation phase will be used as a basis for future application and process standardisation.

Holzherr explained that the standardisation of business processes across the group’s European operation would improve productivity. He said: “The outsourcing will lead to a tightening of working processes across the group and hence to a significant improvement in efficiency.”

EDS EMEA consulting director Sion Roberts said the IT services provider would also examine possibilities for the modern0isation of equipment within Lloydspharmacy’s stores. This could include replacing equipment, deploying applications on existing hardware, or refreshing the infrastructure.

He added that the centralisation and standardisation elements of the deal did not mean Lloydspharm-acy’s IT would be run and supported from Germany.

Rather, governance would be put in place to allow the group to leverage, share and integrate IT in different parts of the organisation more effectively.