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Certisign to triple client base in 2003

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, January 08, 2003
Brazilian digital certifier Certisign expects to triple its corporate/government client base in 2003 from 30 today to 100 by year-end, and close the year with a profit, Certisign business director Beny Adler told BNamericas. However, the company's revenues for 2003 are not expected to triple along with the client base, Adler said. In order to meet the client target, the company aims to increase partnerships with tech and communications companies, through which Certisign markets its service, Adler said. Certisign already has two such alliances. The first is with Telefonica Empresas, the local corporate unit of Spanish telecoms company Telefonica (NYSE: TEF); the second is with a local Internet solutions company called Intersix. Adler also confirmed that Certisign reached operational breakeven as planned in November-December 2002. Certisign CEO Sergio Kulikovsky told BNamericas early October that the company would reach breakeven by year-end. Certisign became the exclusive regional partner of US-based digital certifier Verisign in 1999, which later purchased an undisclosed stake in the Brazilian company in 2000. However, Adler said Verisign will not be injecting any more cash into the company. Certisign is a private company, so it does not release financial information. Last year was "slow" according to Adler, due to presidential election jitters in the second half, and legislative red tape in the first half. Certisign only received its approval from the federal government's digital certification authority ICP Brasil to sell digital certificates in early October of 2002. Founded in 1996, Certisign offers about 10 different types of digital certificates. The company charges retail clients 2,000-3,000 reais (US$600-900) for unlimited yearly digital certification services, and 500,000 reais on average for the same service to the corporate and public sectors, Adler said.

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