Earlier in the week, Opera Software released its quarterly financial report. The final quarter of 2010 saw Opera increase its user base to 170 million, out of which 53 million belonged to Opera for desktop. The past year also witnessed Opera Software going from being the the red to recording record revenues. One of the most significant contributors to its turnaround was operator tie-ups, which Opera had been focusing on during the past few quarters. Opera’s partners include several big names like Vodafone and MTS. While mobile service providers benefit from the partnership by being able to provide its users a customised version of Opera Mini, which reduces bandwidth costs, highlights their web-properties (through speed-dial), and encourages mobile surfing, Opera Software profits from the licensing fee. The number of operator-branded Opera Mini users jumped from 2.1 million in Jan 2010 to 11.5 million in Jan 2011. Other than that there were approximately 90 million Opera Mini users last month.
Although partnerships with operators helped Opera generate a significant amount of revenue, the Norwegian browser maker credits stronger than expected desktop and device revenues (chiefly gaming consoles and connected TV) for the higher than expected total revenue. AdMarvel also made a significant positive contribution.
As expected Opera’s profits also saw a sharp increase. However, one-off expenses like closing of Czech offices, and shifting of Opera’s server park from Norway to Iceland pulled down the profit percentage. In the near future, Opera aims to refresh its mail offering by leveraging the previously acquired Fastmail, develop Open Mobile Ad Exchange to generate revenue from mobile browsers, popularize Opera Mobile Store, and aggressively monetize Opera for desktop (see screenshot embedded below).