Red Hat revenues jump to US$37m

Linux vendor Red Hat saw its quarterly revenues jump by 43 percent, year-over-year, reaching US$37 million (AUD$49.25m) for the fourth quarter fiscal 2004, the company reported Tuesday.

Net income amounted to US$5 million, or $.03 per share for the quarter, up from a loss of US$273,000 for the same quarter in 2003.

Revenue for the fiscal year, which ended Feb. 29, amounted to US$126.1 million, up from US$90.9 million for 2003.

The company gained 4,000 new customers and sold 87,000 subscriptions for its Red Hat's Enterprise Linux software during the quarter, Red Hat said. Of that, 61,000 subscriptions were sold into the enterprise IT market and 26,000 were sold in to high-performance computing and Web hosting space, Red Hat said.

International sales for the Raleigh, North Carolina, company grew by 107 percent, and amounted to 32 percent of Red Hat's income, said company chief executive officer Matthew Szulik, in a telephone news conference. "International has been an area of investment throughout the fiscal year," he said.

Although much attention is being directed toward the role of Linux in China, Germany and India are proving to be important markets for Red Hat, he said.

Szulik downplayed the effects of claims by The SCO Group that the Linux operating system violates SCO's intellectual property and copyright. "Now after almost one year in which the infringing code -- or the supposed infringing code -- has not been publically revealed, the marketplace for Linux and open source software continues to grow, and our legal bills continue to add up," Szulik said.

In August, Red Hat sued SCO over the matter. Red Hat is seeking a declaratory judgment that would rule SCO's claims regarding copyright infringement are untrue.

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