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Mandrakesoft on the fiscal mend

Nearly two years after filing for bankruptcy protection, the Linux vendor is making a profit.

French Linux vendor Mandrakesoft announced on Tuesday that its revenue over the last fiscal year has reached 5.18 million euros ($6.68 million), representing a 33 percent increase year-on-year.

The company reported that it was profitable during this fiscal year, but will announce the full details at a later date. The company said the main growth factors were online sales, licenses and Mandrakelinux User Club subscriptions, which combined for 77 percent of consolidated revenue. Retail sales and professional services have declined in importance to only 15 percent and 8 percent of revenues, respectively.

Francois Bancilhon, the chief executive officer of Mandrakesoft, said the company is pleased with the results. "We are very happy--these are the first positive results in five years."

Mandrakesoft has had a shaky financial past--it filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors in January 2003. It exited bankruptcy protection earlier this year and has agreed to repay 4.1 million euros ($5.5 million) to creditors over a nine-year period.

Mandrakesoft's revenues are rising on the back of a number of high-profile successes. The company won a number of contracts with the French government this year, including a contract with the French Ministry of Equipment to replace 1,500 Windows NT servers with Mandrakelinux corporate servers. It is also part of a consortium which won a three-year 7 million euro ($9 million) contract with French Ministry of Defense to build a secure version of Linux.

Bancilhon said these contracts have not greatly affected this year's revenue results. "They have helped, but they barely show in this year's figures," said Bancilhon. "They will be more visible next year."

Mandrakesoft now hopes to concentrate on increasing the proportion of revenue it gets from professional services.

"The service-side is something we have neglected in the past," Bancilhon said. "Today 92 percent of our revenue is product revenue. I want to get our service revenue higher."

Ingrid Marson of ZDNet UK reported from London.