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Be unveils so-so first post-IPO results

Loss wider than last year, revenue lower

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Alternative OS developer Be yesterday posted its first financial results as a public company, and they don't look to positive. For the three months to 30 June, Be's second quarter, the company recorded revenues of $537,000. That's an impressive increase of 74 per cent on the first quarter's $309,000, but the quarter-on-quarter growth is overshadowed by the fact the company achieved sales of $602,000 for the same period last year, a fall of 11 per cent. This despite the launch of BeOS 4.0 late last year -- ie. just in time for Q1 -- and the recent release of version 4.5 in June. For the quarter, Be lost $4.7 million, a little larger than the $4.5 million it lost in the same period last year. Other expenses pushed the loss to $6.6 million, compared to $5.7 million last year. The loss for the first quarter before and after expenses was $4.2 million and $6.0 million, respectively. Be's figures aren't exactly inspiring, but they're hardly discouraging either. Far more important will be the numbers for the current quarter, which will more accurately reflect the success -- or otherwise -- of BeOS 4.5, the first version of the OS that has been pushed into the mainstream. It will also show just how well Be is doing in persuading vendors to back the BeOS. Earlier this year, Be signed deals with Hitachi and Fujitsu, and more recently with Microworkz, AST and iDot. Curiously, Be's release on the results didn't mention Microworkz, which is using the BeOS for its iToaster $199 Net access device, so maybe Be is as sceptical about the PC vendor's ability to ship the device as many of its customers appear to be. iDot's BeOS-based box is due to ship at the end of the month. ®

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