Novell ( NOVL) said second-quarter revenue inched higher, and the software and services company narrowed its loss from the same quarter a year ago.

For the quarter ended April 30, Novell reported revenue of $276 million, up from $274 million for the same period a year ago and $260 million in the the first fiscal quarter.

The company lost $29 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with a loss of $173 million, or 48 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding various items, the company lost 2 cents a share.

"Despite the continued weak IT market, we posted a 6% revenue increase over our first quarter and revenues were up slightly year-over-year," the company said in a press release. "The lack of profitability in the quarter was a disappointment, and we now plan to lower our costs to improve our business performance overall. We're confident we can do this while sustaining the momentum we've built around our newer offerings."

During the second quarter, software license and maintenance revenue rose 1% from a year ago to $165 million. Revenue from identity management and secure Web services software climbed 36% to $23 million.

Shares of Novell tacked on 9 cents, or 3.3%, to $2.81 in extended-hours trading on Instinet.