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Corel to cut workforce by 20%

The software maker plans to cut 20 percent of its rank and file--340 employees--as it continues to strive toward profitability.

Corel said today that it plans to cut 20 percent of its workforce as it continues to strive toward profitability.

The 340-employee reduction will take place in the next two months as the company moves its research and development operations from Utah to Ottawa. Corel has posted declining revenues and six consecutive quarters of losses.

The company reported its second-quarter results today, with net revenues falling to $63 million in the quarter, down from $87.4 million a year ago. But it narrowed its net loss to $8.3 million, or 14 cents a share, from a loss of $117.6 million, or $1.96 a share a year ago.

"We said we would strategically contain costs, control inventory and optimize product levels in our distribution channels. We have done these things," said Michael O'Reilly, Corel's chief financial officer, in a statement. "Our Q2 results, which are better than most analysts predicted, clearly demonstrate the fulfillment of our commitment to return to financial stability and we are now ready to complete the next steps in our business efficiency program."

Earlier this year, the company predicted that it would achieve profitability in 1998.

The company's stock lost 80 percent of its value in fiscal 1997 and has remained fairly comatose so far this year.

Under its consolidation plans, Corel will transfer development of Corel Word Perfect, Corel Quattro Pro, Corel Presentations and Open-J to the Ottawa office.

"This decision was not taken lightly, rather with the best interests of our customers and shareholders in mind. We'll see increased R&D synergies across product lines and substantial cost savings from this consolidation. It strengthens our products, strengthens our fiscal outlook and sets the stage for the next two years," said Michael Cowpland, president and chief executive, in a statement.