Business Objects posts revenue gains in Asia

Investment strategy pays off as the business software vendor posts stellar quarter for all regions including Asia, says senior executive.

SINGAPORE--Business Objects posted double-digit growth in global earnings across all geographies for its latest fiscal quarter, with the Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) region leading in revenue growth.

In an earnings call Friday, Keith Budge, senior vice president and general manager for Asia-Pacific and Japan at Business Objects, said: "We had a record quarter, with double-digit growth in all regions--Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific--with Asia-Pacific leading the growth rate."

Business Objects' total revenue for the first quarter ended Mar. 31, 2007, grew 20 percent year-on-year to US$334 million, while license revenues increased 9 percent year-on-year to US$137 million. Revenues from services, including maintenance and global professional services, grew 29 percent year-on-year to US$197 million for the first quarter.

Total revenues in APJ grew 27 percent year-on-year, to reach US$24 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2007. "We have been investing heavily in the Asia-Pacific region, and we believe that we will see ongoing strong growth in the Asia-Pacific region," Budge said.

The vendor's recent customer wins in the region include China Mobile in China, the National Australia Bank in Australia, Samsung Electronics in South Korea, and Mizuho Corporate Bank in Japan, he said.

Revenues from the Americas were US$173 million, up 17 percent year-on-year, while the Europe, Middle-East and Africa region registered US$137 million, growing 23 percent year-on-year.

For the second quarter ending Jun. 30, 2007, Business Objects is projecting total revenues to range between US$345 million and US$350 million, while total revenues for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2007, are expected to range between US$1.426 billion and US$1.446 billion.

"Our guidance for fiscal 2007 reflects continued double-digit revenue growth, increased revenue benefit from currency exchange rates, and non-GAAP margin expansion," Jim Tolonen, chief financial officer at Business Objects, said in a statement. "More specifically, we are raising our annual guidance for non-GAAP earnings per share to reflect the strong first quarter results. Our full-year guidance for U.S. GAAP earnings per share reflects the legal contingency reserve taken in the first quarter."

Business Objects sells business intelligence software that lets companies detect business trends from heaps of information stored in databases and ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems. In February, the company launched applications with prices targeted at small and midsize businesses, in a bid to find a market in mid-range companies.

Last week, Business Objects announced its intent to acquire enterprise performance management (EPM) software maker Cartesis for 225 million euros (US$306.14 million) in cash.