Opera Software ASA reported Monday a third-quarter net loss of 12 million kroner ($2.1 million), despite increased revenue, as operating costs hit the Norwegian company.
In July through September last year Opera had a net profit of 33.3 million kroner. Revenue in the quarter was 135 million kroner ($24.2 million), up from 125 million kroner in 2008.
Analysts had expected higher sales figures and the company’s stock plummeted 26 percent, closing at 17.1 kroner ($3.07), on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
Opera’s operating expenses grew 37 percent in the period compared to 2008 largely due to infrastructure costs related to the Opera Mini cell phone browser. Marketing and hiring some 200 new employees also increased costs in the period.
But the software manufacturer gave a positive outlook, saying “it is well positioned to take advantage” of “megatrends” in the cell phone industry as a growing number of consumers browse the Internet on mobile devices.
In the late 90s and early 2000s, the Opera browser was a strong alternative to Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer and Time Warner Inc.’s Netscape. But its popularity has diminished with the rise of Netscape’s successor, Mozilla’s Firefox.
Oslo-based Opera employs 760 people in 10 countries. In June, the group launched its first file-sharing feature, Opera Unite, which allows users to share photos, music and other files with one another directly, bypassing the need for outside services such as Facebook and Flickr.
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