Russian tech company Softline considers IPO after annual turnover boost

MOSCOW, May 12 (Reuters) - Russian tech company Softline is considering an initial public offering, its chairman said on Wednesday, after the group reported an 8.9% increase in turnover to $1.8 billion for the 2020-21 financial year.

Softline, an IT solution and services provider, has customers in 55 countries and works with international vendors, including Microsoft and Google.

“Today, we see significant potential for further value creation based on Softline’s global presence and are considering various strategic development opportunities, including a potential initial public offering of the company’s shares,” said Igor Borovikov, chairman of the group’s board of directors.

The group acquired Indian IT company Embee in January and finalised a deal to acquire a controlling stake in Germany’s Softline AG last month.

U.S. sanctions against Russia, which came into force in November 2017, led to some restrictions on sales of U.S. software.

When asked whether this had affected Softline, global CEO Sergey Chernovolenko said: “We cannot comment on specific agreements with clients, however, Softline did not have any significant customer losses due to sanctions, as our customer base is highly diversified.”

A quarter of Softline’s turnover for the year ending March 31 came from its cloud services business, which increased 47% year-on-year, its third successive year of double-digit growth, the company said in a statement.

Other key business lines include software subscriptions and hardware solutions.

Chernovolenko said Softline was keen to strengthen its cybersecurity expertise and create exclusive digital transformation solutions based on the internet of things, artificial intelligence and robotic process automation technologies. (Editing by Jane Merriman)