April 3, 2008 / 8:26 PM / 10 years ago

Corel narrows 1st-quarter loss as revenues rise

TORONTO (Reuters) - Consumer software maker Corel Corp CRE.TOCREL.O, the target of a buyout offer by its majority shareholder, reported a small first-quarter loss on Thursday even as sales surged higher.

Corel, known for brands like WordPerfect, WinZip and WinDVD, said it lost $30,000, or nil per share, in the three months ended February 29. That was better than a loss of $11.9 million, or 48 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier.

The company made no reference to the buyout offer by Corel Holdings LP, which already owns 69 percent of the common stock and is controlled by private equity firm Vector Capital Corp. The offer is $11 a share in cash.

“It is still very early in the process and, as such, I’m not in a position to provide further comment on this proposal,” Chief Executive David Dobson told analysts during a conference call, adding, “it is very much business as usual here at Corel.”

Revenue rose to $65.5 million from $52.6 million a year earlier, the Ottawa-based Corel said.

For the second quarter ending May 31, it said it expects revenue of between $66 million and $68 million and a profit of between 4 and 9 cents a share.

The buyout bid could mean Corel would become a private company for the second time in five years.

It had been public before Vector bought it in 2003. In May 2006, Corel closed an initial public offering of a minority stake, which left Vector with about 70 percent.

Corel released its results after markets closed. Its thinly traded shares last closed at C$10.54 on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

($1=$1 Canadian)

Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; editing by Rob Wilson

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