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Business Objects Reports 15% 1Q Sales Growth

Recently released BusinessObjects XI generates $15 million in license revenue.
Business Objects SA reported Thursday that sales surged 15% to $248.8 million in its first quarter ended March 31. Net income was $15.0 million or 16 cents per share compared with $3.3 million or 4 cents per share a year ago.

"It was a good first quarter toward our first billion-dollar year," says Jim Tolonen, CFO and senior VP of finance and administration.

Most of Business Objects' revenue gain came from a 30% increase in service-related revenue to $133.6 million. Despite more than $15 million in license revenue from sales of the company's new BusinessObjects XI software, license revenue increased just 1% year over year to $115.2 million. Maintenance-related revenue generally grows faster than license revenue during product transition periods, Tolonen says.

During the quarter, the company closed nine contracts with license sales valued at more than $1 million each, up from seven such deals a year ago. CNA Insurance is standardizing on BusinessObjects XI under one such contract, Tolonen says.

The quarter provided the first year-over-year full-quarter comparison of Business Objects' financial results following its $1.2-billion acquisition of Crystal Decisions in December 2003.

For the current quarter ending June 30, Business Objects expects revenue in the range of $250 million to $255 million and earnings of 20 to 22 cents per share. For all of 2005, the company expects revenue of $1.01 billion to $1.035 billion and earnings of 82 to 92 cents per share.