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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Verysell Expects a Record $70M

Information technologies distributor Verysell, Russia's market leader in Compaq and Microsoft sales, raised revenues by $2.2 million to $52.2 million last year, company officials said Tuesday.

The showing is still below the high of $62 million set in 1997, but Verysell is expecting to beat all company records in 2000 with a projected $70 million in revenues, Verysell president Mikhail Krasnov said at a news conference.

"I think the figures show the result of the hard work of our company leaders and employees," Krasnov said. "It also shows that we are one of the biggest and most active companies on the computer market."

The growth came despite a significant setback in the company's bid to team up with a large foreign partner.

Verysell, founded in 1990 as a Soviet-U.S. joint venture called Merisel, entered 2000 with unclear prospects after world IT distributing giant CHS Electronics backed away from a partnership deal with the company.

CHS Electronics - which saw its earnings per share decline 256.7 percent in late 1999, according to Yahoo finance research - blamed its own financial difficulties for its decision late last year, Krasnov said.

A CHS Electronics official contacted by phone in Florida, who declined to be identified, called the relationship between Verysell and his firm "a normal business relationship."

While CHS Electronics has yet to officially scrap the planned deal with Verysell, the Russian distributor has decided to forge ahead on its own and has streamlined operations by spinning off units to deal with different markets, Krasnov said.

Those units include Verysell Projects, which handles specific assignments with clients such as the Central Bank and Gazprom; Verysell Trading, which works with Western companies like Compaq, Hewlett Packard, Novell and Sun; and Vintergo, a partnership with MicroAge. Two subsidiaries - Verysell Ukraine and Verysell Uzbekistan - each deal with those specific regions in the former Soviet Union.

Verysell, founded in 1990, became a joint-stock company in 1994 - when it was privatized. In 1995, Merisel dropped out of the company as it pulled out of Europe, narrowing its focus to the North American market.

Although the firm's shares are not publicly listed, three funds serve as Verysell's main shareholders: Framlington Investment Management, First Russian Frontiers of Switzerland and Kolchuga, a part of Credit Commercial France bank.

Krasnov said the fact that the company is seeing a growth in sales despite the combination of its difficult past and Russia's turbulent economy goes to show that Verysell has emerged a winner.

"The market is very difficult," he said. "Don't think that it has been an easy ride."