Cisco's revenue jumped 31 percent in fiscal 1998. Chief Executive Officer John Chambers said in the long run, "in countries with good economies," Cisco should be able to maintain that growth rate. Chambers said the industry is projected to grow between 30 percent and 50 percent per year, and that he expects Cisco revenue to come in "at or above" industry rates. He added that due to general economic conditions, he remained cautious in the 12-to-18-month time frame.
Cisco ended the year with revenue of $8.5bn (£5.18bn) up from $6.4bn (£3.9bn) a year ago. Revenue for the fourth quarter was $2.4bn (£1.46bn) compared with revenue of $1.8bn (£1.09bn) for the year-earlier period.
Yearly earnings grew to $1.9bn (£1.15bn) from $1.4bn (£0.85bn). Earnings for the fourth quarter showed a 36 percent gain, growing to $522.8m (£319m) from $383.2m (£233.65m) a year ago. With earnings of 48 cents per share before a one-time charge, Cisco beat analysts' estimates by a penny.
Overall, Cisco said 80 percent of its revenue was evenly split between switching and routing, with services and support accounting for 6 percent of revenue. The remainder came from Cisco's forays into new areas such as cable.
The company said one of its most promising opportunities going forward was in selling networking gear to service providers. That overall market, according to the company, is worth $250bn (£152bn) to $350bn (£213bn) annually, and Cisco is active in only about a tenth of that market. Cisco said its business probably could grow 100 percent annually in that market.