Corel returned another loss-making quarter, losing $27.8 million.

Its revenues for the fourth quarter rose to $33.5 million from $31.6 million in the year-ago quarter. The company's European revenues rose 20 per cent from $32.3 million to $38.7 million in the period.

The loss included a charge of $5.9 million for severance and office costs, and $17.2 million for the write-down of non-tangible assets of technology and goodwill. The company laid off 220 people - one fifth of its workforce - in November.

Excepting these one-time charges, Corel's net loss was $13.5 million.

Corel lost $96.4 million in the full year - it lost just $7.3 million in fiscal 2001. Annual revenues fell to $126.7 million from $134.3 million.

Corel CEO Derek Burney said: "The strategy for 2002 was to lay the foundation for growth and profitability by making investments in key areas of the company.

The company has established business sales forces in North America and Europe, invested in research and development and built-up its European infrastructure, Burney explained.

European revenues represented 31 per cent of the company's total revenues, up from 24 per cent in fiscal 2001. Revenues in the Americas and Far East fell from $90.6 million in 2001 to $80.5 million in 2002.

"We begin 2003 with a strong cash position, no long-term debt and a clean balance sheet, having written off goodwill and a significant portion of our acquired technologies," he said.