Financial roundup: Microsoft, Sun, SAP, EMC and Nokia report earnings

A host of IT giants have announced their quarterly profits this week. Some managed to return hefty profits but few suppliers are...

A host of IT giants have announced their quarterly profits this week. Some managed to return hefty profits but few suppliers are predicting any rapid upturn in IT spending.

Microsoft has reported double-digit revenue increases for the fourth quarter of 2002 and for its full financial year.

It posted $7.25bn (£4.6bn) in revenue for the fourth quarter ending 30 June, a 10% rise from the $6.58bn in the same quarter one year ago. For the full year, the company reported revenue of $28.37bn, up 12% from $25.30bn one year ago.

The company attributed a large part of its positive performance to strong customer demand for its Windows XP and Enterprise Server operating systems.

John Connors, Microsoft's chief financial officer, said in a statement that the quarter "capped a great year for Microsoft", with solid revenue growth, successful product launches and our continued focus on managing costs.

"While the current environment remains challenging, we're making important investments in product development, marketing and in our sales force that will position us for success in the current year and beyond," he said.

Sun Microsystems has reported net income of $28m (£17.8m) for its fourth fiscal quarter, which ended on 30 June.

Revenue for Sun's fourth quarter were $3.4bn (£2.17bn), down from the $3.9bn it reported in the fourth quarter of 2001. For the full 2002 financial year, Sun reported revenue of $12.5bn, down 32% year-on year.

Net loss for the year - including a $517m restructuring charge, a $99m loss on equity investments, a $3m charge for research and development, and a $246m benefit for the related tax effects - totalled $628m.

SAP, Europe's largest software maker, has reported a drop in revenue and earnings for its second quarter after issuing a warning last week.

SAP's revenue declined 3.8% to €1.78bn (£1.14bn) in the second quarter of 2002 from €1.85bn in the same period a year ago.

SAP still aims to achieve a 21% operating profit margin target this year, or 1% higher than in 2001, despite lower expected revenue, the company said.

Hasso Plattner, chief executive officer and co-chairman of SAP, said the company has put a freeze on hiring. It "is still engaging in large deals," although these deals are fewer, "they're still there", he said.

EMC, the data storage machine maker, has broken even in its second quarter, despite warnings that the storage market is forcing manufacturers to cut prices in an attempt to woo recalcitrant customers.

The company reported net income of US$808,000 (£515,000) for the quarter ending 30 June, compared with earnings for the same quarter last year of $109m. Revenue in the second quarter was $1.39bn (£890m), a 31% decline from $2.02bn in the same quarter of last year.

EMC, which is facing increased competition from IBM, Hitachi Data Systems and Hewlett-Packard, said better sales in non-US markets and tight controls over its costs helped the company to gain market share in both hardware and software during the second quarter.

Nokia, the world's largest mobile phone maker, has reported a 46% year-on-year increase in second quarter net profit, on 6% lower sales.

Mobile phone sales increased 1% to €5.4bn (£3.47bn), while sales at Nokia Networks dropped 22% to €1.47bn. Nokia Networks sells mobile phone networks to operators.

Nokia's solid second quarter was achieved by "strong execution and tight cost control", said Nokia chairman and chief executive officer Jorma Ollila.

Read more on Business applications