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MERISEL REPORTS RECORD FIRST QUARTER SALES AND INCREASES NET INCOME 53 PERCENT

 EL SEGUNDO, Calif., May 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Merisel Inc. (NASDAQ: MSEL) today announced record worldwide first quarter sales and net income for the period ended March 31, 1993. Net sales for the first quarter increased 42 percent, to $692.5 million, up from $487.1 million in the first quarter of 1992. Net income for the quarter ended March 31, 1993, increased 53 percent, to $6.4 million, up from $4.1 million in the first quarter 1992. Although the company's weighted average number of shares outstanding increased by 4.6 million as a result of the company's March 1992 public stock offering, net income per share increased 31 percent, to $0.21 per share, as compared to $0.16 per share in 1992.
 "We reported strong results in the first quarter of 1993, particularly in the U.S. and Canada," said Merisel Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Michael D. Pickett. "Last year's decision to organize the company by geographic region has allowed us to focus on growing market share and controlling operating expenses worldwide. Our strong results reflect a company-wide focus on providing specialized customer service through channel segmentation, increasing systems sales of the leading manufacturers, while running a low-cost, efficient operation."
 Pickett added, "Our record sales in the first quarter more specifically reflect the strong sales growth of Apple, Compaq, IBM and Hewlett-Packard, the North American launch of Microsoft DOS 6.0, and advancements in providing reseller fulfillment services for DellWare in the U.S."
 "Each Merisel company continues to focus on customer service, increased efficiency and cost controls," said Merisel Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer James Brill. "In an effort to combat a decline in gross margins from 9.5 percent in first quarter 1992, to 8.6 percent in the same period in 1993, we have made progress in lowering our operating expenses as a percentage of sales on a worldwide basis. In the first quarter of 1993, our operating expenses as a percentage of sales decreased to 6.3 percent, from 7.2 percent during the same period in 1992."
 Despite the difficult economic environment in Europe, Merisel's European operation was profitable in the first quarter of 1993. The company's U.K. and German subsidiaries in particular achieved strong results. In Germany, Merisel added several strategic manufacturers including Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Seagate. The company continued to focus on improving its results in France and Switzerland. Merisel France refocused its resources on revenue growth and asset management, while adding Texas Instruments to its product offering. In Switzerland, the company appointed Martin Fishman (former vice president of Merisel's U.S. Macintosh division) to managing director of Merisel Switzerland and signed agreements with Compaq and Lotus. On March 29, 1993, Merisel U.K. announced the acquisition of P&P's distribution business, which included the rights to begin selling 3Com, AST, Hewlett-Packard and IBM hardware products in the United Kingdom.
 Other achievements in the first quarter included signing IBM PC Direct and Zenith through a newly formed Reseller Fulfillment sales division in the United States. Merisel has also begun operating similar programs in international markets and recently signed DellWare in Europe and Canada. The company added the following manufacturers in the first quarter: Epson, Claris and SunSoft in the United States; Digital and Apple in Australia; Microsoft and Okidata in Mexico; and Texas Instruments in Canada. Merisel also announced its ranking as No. 405 on the Forbes 500 listing of the nation's leading companies (based on 1992 sales results). Merisel was also recognized in the Forbes 500 as the fifth fastest-growing company, ranking just behind Microsoft, which experienced 48 percent growth in 1992.
 MERISEL INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Summary Operating Results
 (In thousands, except per share amounts)
 Three months ended
 March 31, March 31,
 1993 1992
 Net sales $692,458 $487,103
 Gross profit 59,423 46,442
 Income before tax 11,061 7,441
 Net income 6,353 4,140
 Net income per share $0.21 $0.16
 Weighted average shares outstanding 30,300 26,357
 Merisel Inc. is the world's largest publicly held distributor of microcomputer hardware and software products. The company presently stocks products from more than 700 manufacturers for sale to 65,000 resellers worldwide. Merisel currently maintains 21 distribution centers that serve the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Rim. It sells more than 20,000 products worldwide, and offers a wide range of services to support resellers with the sales of these products.
 -0- 5/10/93
 /CONTACT: James Brill, CFO, senior VP-finance, 310-615-1259, or Cathy Quattrocchi, manager, corporate communications, 310-615-1230, both of Merisel/
 (MSEL)


CO: Merisel Inc. ST: California IN: CPR SU: ERN

BP-JB -- LA034 -- 6665 05/10/93 16:33 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 10, 1993
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