Red Hat still in the red

But sales are growing nicely

Red Hat, the best-known Linux distributor, continues to see strong revenue growth - and almost equally large widening of its losses. Reporting the results of its fourth quarter today, the company revealed revenues up some 39 per cent on the same period last year, rising from $9.4 million to $13.1 million. Last quarter, the company recorded sales of $10.5 million, so the Q4 figures represent quarter-on-quarter growth of 24 per cent. Sounds fine, but then you see how much Red Hat actually made - or rather, didn't make. During the three months the 29 February, the company lost $24.6 million, though exceptional items leave the company better off, at just $5.6 million in the red. The items relate to money brought into the company from the coffers of acquisitions Cygnus Solutions and Hell's Kitchen, primarily the former, we suspect. For the year ago quarter, Red Hat lost $1.2 million. For the year as a whole, Red Hat recorded a loss of $19.2 million ($39.9 million before "adjustments") on revenues of $42.4 million, increases of 242 per cent and 28.4 per cent, respectively, on the previous year's figures ($5.8 million and $33 million). Said Matthew Szulik, president and CEO: "Demand for Red Hat products and services is strong in ISPs, Web hosting companies and manufacturers of Internet devices." Indeed. The company's roster of enterprise customers rose to 140 during Q4 from 60 in the previous three-month period. "Post the consolidation of our recent acquisitions, Red Hat is in position to accelerate revenue and margin growth on a global basis," he added. Maybe, but it would be nice to show some profit at the end of the day, too... ®

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