Cost-cutting pays dividends for database giant...Aggressive cost cutting has helped Oracle to announce better profits figures than expected for the end of the quarter. Net profits were $551m for the quarter, or 9 cents per share, slightly above expectations of 8 cents per share. However, while revenues were actually slightly down on the quarter, an aggressive cut of 6.6 per cent of the cost base helped the company to turn in better numbers than expected. While the company's research and development expenditure was flat, 6.4 per cent of sales and marketing costs, 9.4 per cent of service costs and 7.6 per cent of general and administrative expenses were cut. Oracle delayed the customary results conference call following the terrorist attacks on Washington and New York. One Oracle staff member was lost aboard United Airlines flight 93, and seven were missing in the World Trade Center. The company promised to devote all its energy to helping the US government and its private customers re-establish its data systems in the wake of the attack. The conference call will take place once markets reopen, most likely on Monday.