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 EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Aug. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Merisel Inc. (NASDAQ: MSEL) today announced record worldwide sales for the quarter ended June 30, 1993. Net sales for the quarter increased to $713 million, up 39 percent from $513 million in the comparable 1992 quarter. Net sales for the six months ended June 30, 1993, increased to $1,406 million, up 41 percent from the same period in 1992.
 Net income for the quarter ended June 30, 1993, increased 39 percent to $6.1 million, up from $4.4 million in the second quarter 1992, while net income per share increased to $.20 from $.15 per share in the same period in 1992. For the six months ended June 30, 1993, net income increased to $12.4 million, up 44 percent from net income of $8.6 million. Net income per share for the six-month period ended June 30, 1993, increased to $.41 from $.30 in the comparable 1992 period.
 "Our results for the first half of 1993 reflect strong sales growth and lower operating expenses as a percentage of sales. These factors contributed to a substantial increase in earnings per share from the same period last year," said Michael D. Pickett, Merisel chairman of the board and chief executive officer. "We once again achieved strong sales growth worldwide, particularly in Europe and Pacific Rim/Latin America. These results reflect the addition of new products, increased business through our Reseller Fulfillment division specifically with DellWare, and a successful launch and sell-through on Microsoft DOS 6.0. Our systems sales doubled from the prior year, and today sales of Apple, Compaq, IBM, Digital Equipment Corp. and Hewlett-Packard systems make up more than 10 percent of our overall business."
 Pickett added, "At a time when the European economies are in a lingering recession and prices of hardware and software continue to decline, we're pleased with our second quarter results. To offset lower gross margins which dropped from 9.3 percent to 8.3 percent, we continue to drive down operating expenses as a percentage of sales from 7.2 in the second quarter 1992 to 6.2 for the same quarter in 1993."
 As expected, the economic environment and heightened competitive pressures in Europe during the second quarter 1993 affected Merisel's European results. Although Merisel's European operations experienced very strong sales growth and had operating income, they were unprofitable after interest and taxes. The U.K. company successfully completed its acquisition of P&P's distribution business and began offering 3Com, AST, Hewlett-Packard and IBM hardware products. In Germany, Merisel added products from SunSoft, Symantec, Microsoft (Macintosh), Sony and Lexmark. In France, Merisel entered into a contract to provide fulfillment for IBM in Europe and added Texas Instruments, Hayes and Tecmar to its list of manufacturers. Merisel Switzerland secured rights to sell Hewlett-Packard systems.
 In the second and third quarters, Merisel U.S. formed an independent business unit called the Channel Services Group (CSG), which provides manufacturers and resellers with fee-based services such as contract telemarketing, merchandising and electronic software distribution. AMBRA Computer Corp. selected CSG to outsource all telemarketing services for AMBRA's direct response effort, while selecting Merisel as a strategic partner to provide direct fulfillment service for third- party hardware and software products for AMBRA's catalog program. AMBRA marks the fourth major customer to utilize Merisel's Reseller Fulfillment Division along with DellWare, IBM PC Direct and Zenith. In July, the company announced its entry into the electronic software distribution market through a joint venture, Softbank Inc. Sears and AAFES were added as new U.S. customers through the Consumer Products Division. Merisel also added the following manufacturers: Claris in the United States; Hewlett-Packard printers and Sony in Canada; 3Com, Apple (systems) and Digital Equipment Corp. in Australia; Compaq in France; Apple in Mexico; and Compaq, Microsoft and Software Publishing Corp. in Latin America.
 In an effort to expand Merisel's value-added reseller (VAR) customer base and gain incremental business in emerging markets, the company developed the VAR Vantage incentive program, which elevates service levels to the company's domestic VAR customers, and Merisel also entered into the systems integrator and OEM markets. Over the last quarter, Merisel was ranked in the "Fortune 100 Fastest Growing Companies" list as the largest company in terms of revenue. Merisel was also recognized in the "Fortune Service 500" as the sixth fastest-growing company in terms of revenue.
 Summary Operating Results
 (In thousands except per share amounts)
 Three months ended Six months ended
 June 30, June 30,
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Net sales $713,422 $512,735 $1,405,880 $999,837
 Gross profit 59,132 47,920 118,555 94,361
 Income before tax 10,222 7,439 21,283 14,879
 Net income 6,072 4,443 12,425 8,583
 Net income per share $.20 $.15 $.41 $.30
 Weighted average
 shares outstanding 30,312 30,289 30,308 28,324
 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- 8/9/93
 /CONTACT: James Brill, CFO, 310-615-1259, or Cathy Quattrocchi, manager of corporate communications, 310-615-1230, both of Merisel/

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

EH-JL -- LA028 -- 0930 08/09/93 17:19 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 9, 1993

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