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Norway's Opera Software ASA reported Wednesday a 15 million kroner ($2.4 million) first-quarter net loss, citing a major one-off downsizing expense and higher operating costs.

That's down from a net profit of 15 million kroner in 2009.

The software manufacturer said its quarterly revenue slipped to 151.4 million kroner ($24.5 million) from 163 million kroner last year.

Opera shares closed down 4.9 percent, at 21.30 kroner ($3.45), on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

The Oslo-based company was hit by a 29.1 million kroner ($4.7 million) one-off charge related to downsizing in the wake of the global financial crunch, including severance pay and office closures.

Meanwhile, higher marketing and infrastructure costs tied to the expansion of the company's Opera Mini mobile phone browser caused a 20 percent jump in operating expenses for the January-March period.

Nevertheless, Opera gave a positive outlook, saying it "expects to see increased revenue streams" from its mobile phone browser "as usage expands and...business models evolve further in the mobile Internet space."

The company also said it sees "accelerating interest" in its browsers among makers of other consumer electronics — like televisions — as a growing number of consumers browse the Internet on non-computer platforms.

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 among computer users has diminished with the rise of Netscape's successor, Mozilla's Firefox.

Opera employs about 760 people in 10 countries.

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Online:

http://www.opera.com

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