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Asbis sees pick-up in Middle East sales

Total group revenues also increase, but IT distributor still remains unprofitable

Asbis is hoping to turn its improvement in sales into stronger profits during the next two quarters.
Asbis is hoping to turn its improvement in sales into stronger profits during the next two quarters.

Components and laptop distributor Asbis' latest financial results have revealed that it registered sales of US$44m in the Middle East and Africa during the second quarter of this year, an 8% rise on the same period last year.

Its performance during the second quarter meant that MEA sales for the first six months of the year totalled US$96m, marking an 8% improvement on the corresponding period in 2009 when revenues reached US$88m.

The MEA region has been a beacon of light for Asbis during the past year as its Russian and Eastern European businesses felt the full force of the recession, although all of the company's units returned to growth in Q2.

Overall second quarter sales at the company climbed 17% to US$270m, while half-year sales increased 28% to US$600m.

Half-year gross profit grew 45% year-on-year to US$27m, although the company suffered a net loss of US$1.9m, which it partially blamed on steep currency movements against the US dollar.

Although the loss is smaller than the US$6.5m deficit it posted the previous year, Siarhei Kostevitch, CEO and chairman of Asbis, insisted the firm was far from content.

"[The loss] is still three times lower than in the corresponding period of 2009, but we are definitely not satisfied and determined to close 2010 profitable," he stated.

Kostevitch attributed the rise in sales, meanwhile, to an upgraded product portfolio and market share gains from weaker competitors in many countries, although he did not specify which ones.

Asbis generated over 40% of its revenues from the sale of CPUs and laptops alone, while a further 14% came from hard drives.

Its latest financial report revealed that the UAE finished the quarter as its fourth largest market with sales of US$34m, while Saudi Arabia ranked sixth with sales of US$21m.

The report also confirmed the establishment of a 100% owned subsidiary in Riyadh during the past six months, which has been registered as Advanced Systems Company LLC.