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Corel scrapes a profit – just

$1.5m Q1 loss offset by $2m interest income

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Corel is back in the black, two financial quarters ahead of its previous predictions, the troubled software company said yesterday.

Its profits for the quarter - the first of its current fiscal year - should total around $500,000, Corel said. Sales will total $32.5 million, down on company expectations, it admitted.

Still, since CEO Derek Burney wasn't expecting Corel to become profitable before Q3, that's something we're sure they can live with, particularly since its Q4 $8.6 million loss was wider than anticipated.

This time last year Corel lost $12.4 million on revenues of $44.1 million.

Burney put the burst of profitability down to "positive operating cash flow" and "hard work". Corel's press statement puts it more bluntly: "Interest income is expected to offset the operating loss [expected to total $1.5 million] and yield a modest net income."

It goes on to say: "Final results, net of non-cash items, are also expected to demonstrate positive operating cash flow before payment of Novell obligations and non-operating items."

We're not sure what "Novell obligations" are. They sound rather droit de signeur but probably refer to Corel's ongoing payment for WordPerfect. The point is, though, that Corel's bottom line will be dragged into the red by exceptional items, and that its "modest" 500 grand profit isn't down to selling more software or anything - ie. not the product of its business - but simply the cash it has in the bank.

Corel's final Q1 2001 results are due next week on 29 March. ®

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