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Sales Jump, Losses Soar at VarsityBooks
-- 3/6/00

VarsityBooks.com, which went public February 15, reported that sales for 1999--its first full year of business--hit $10.6 million, compared to $132,000 in 1998. The company's net loss skyrocketed to $31.5 million from $2.7 million last year. For the fourth quarter, sales were $1.7 million and the e-retailer had a loss of $12.3 million. Eric Kuhn, president and CEO, said operating results "were in accordance with our expectations." Because the company remains in the "quiet period" following its public offering, Kuhn had no further comments on Varsity's performance.

Varsity's largest expense during the year, as it is with most e-retailer startups, was marketing and sales: the company spent $20 million in 1999. Slightly more than $5 million was allocated to general and administrative costs, while $4.5 million went into product development.

The company also announced that Bruce McNamer has been named v-p of business development. McNamer will focus primarily on continuing to sell Varsity's marketing services to businesses interested in reaching college students.
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