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Business Objects Reports Sales Growth

Software vendor reports net loss for the quarter, which is the first financial report since the acquisition of Crystal Decisions was completed.
Business Objects SA, reporting financial results for the first time since completing its $1.2 billion acquisition of reporting software vendor Crystal Decisions Inc., says it had a net loss of $8.6 million, or 12 cents per share, on sales of $184.2 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

Business Objects closed the Crystal Decisions deal Dec. 11, so the quarter included 20 days of financial results from the combined companies. The $184.2 million revenue figure was up 46% from the same period a year ago. That included license fees of $98.3 million, up 48% from one year earlier.

Had Business Objects and Crystal Decisions been combined for the entire quarter, sales would have been approximately $240 million, says CEO Bernard Liautaud. "The bottom line is, we are fulfilling the promise of this acquisition," he says.

The loss for the quarter includes a number of one-time charges related to the acquisition, including a $28 million write-off for acquired in-process technology, restructuring charges of $7.8 million, and other integration charges of $5.5 million.

For all of 2003, Business Objects reported net income of $22.6 million, or 34 cents per share, down 44% from 2002, on sales of $560.8 million, up 23% from 2002. For the current quarter, Business Objects expects revenue in the range of $208 million to $218 million and earnings of 3 cents to 9 cents per share.

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