SAS Revenues Pass Through $1.5 Billion Mark 2

A deeper push into the business intelligence market pays off for the world's largest privately held software company.
Sales at SAS increased 15 percent to $1.53 billion in 2004 as the firm saw success from its ongoing foray into business intelligence.

SAS on Thursday credited data warehousing, integration and BI software applications for the revenue increase, especially sales of its SAS 9 Enterprise Intelligence product. The platform, which debuted last year, has shipped to 20,000 customers, SAS said. The package combines data warehousing, BI, analytics, data quality and extract, transform and load (ETL) capabilities. The company also released a series of task-specific software packages last year that build on SAS 9.

"The SAS 9 platform brings us to a much wider audience, and it's definitely driving our growth," said Eleanor Taylor, manager of business intelligence strategy at SAS. "That's especially true when you look at standardization and consolidation" among businesses trying to reduce redundant applications, she said.

SAS, the world's biggest privately held software company, has worked hard to gain greater recognition as a major player in the business intelligence market. The company, which has a 29-year history in statistics and analytics applications, has made its tools more user-friendly and has focused more intently on front-end applications in the last year.

Sales of SAS's campaign management and marketing automation tools more than doubled in 2004. Revenue from performance management, activity-based management and costing grew by more than a third, SAS said. IT management product sales jumped 30 percent, while risk management application revenue grew 20 percent.

The financial services industry accounted for more than a third of SAS's sales in 2004. Other important sectors for the software maker include pharmaceuticals, government, telecom and energy.

The Americas accounted for 46 percent of SAS's sales last year. Europe, the Middle East and Africa contributed 44 percent, while customers in Asia provided 10 percent.

SAS did not release earnings numbers, though a spokesman for the company said SAS continues to be profitable.

Chairman, president and CEO James Goodnight owns about two-thirds of SAS. Co-founder and executive vice president John Sall owns the rest. SAS is based in Cary, N.C.

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