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By abandoning its imperial pretensions, and concentrating on the desktop graphics stuff (and WordPerfect too) it does best, Corel has rediscovered the knack of making money.

In Q3, ended Aug 31, 2001, the Canadian software publisher declared a profit, not a big one - US$500K - but a profit nevertheless. And a profit for a third quarter in a row.

For the quarter, Corel produced sales of $34.2m (Q3: 2001 $36.4m), compared with revenues of $36m and net income of $2.3m for Q2, 2001. In Q3 last year, the company made a net loss of $10.7m.

And for the year to date, Corel turned net income of $3.4m on sales of $102.7m. Compare and contrast with the same period last year, when the company recorded a net loss of $46.8m on sales of $117.1m. All in all, a decent performance, especially considering the slowdown in consumer IT spend this year.

The company had cash and cash equivalents at the end of the quarter of $123m, so it looks grounded enough to withstand any further downturn in the market.

During Q3, Corel announced its intention to buy Micrografx, the veteran developer of consumer graphics software, for $32m in stock and Softquad, developer of HTML editor HotMetal pro, for $36m in stock.

The company also fulfilled its ambition of hiving off its Linux distro business. This is constructed as a licensing/small amount of equity/no cash (as far as we can see) deal. but the upshot is that, if things don't work out, Corel retains rights to the software. ®

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