BEA reports Q1 growth in revenue and earnings

Application server supplier BEA Systems has reported growth in both earnings and revenue for its first quarter, although revenue...

Application server supplier BEA Systems has reported growth in both earnings and revenue for its first quarter, although revenue from software licences slipped from a year earlier.

Pro forma net income for BEA's first quarter was $28.5m (£17.6m) compared with last year's net income of $25.3m.

Revenue for the period, ending 30 April, came in at $237.3m (£147.7m), up from $224.8m a year ago. Revenue from BEA's services division increased to $115m (£71m), from $93.7m a year earlier, while licence revenue dropped to $122.3m (£75.6m), from $131.1m.

"We're pleased with our execution and performance in what continues to be a very tough market," said Alfred Chuang, BEA's founder, chairman and chief executive officer.

The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) had little impact on BEA's first-quarter results but is likely to reduce sales in Asia in the second quarter, Chuang said.

"We expect some adverse impact in our Asia-Pacific business from Sars. We estimated it could be between 2% and 5% of total revenue 9from that region], and it's always possible the impact could be greater," he said.

The region accounts for between 14% and 17% of BEA's total revenue.

Last week Gartner released a report showing BEA to have lost its lead in the application server software market to IBM, its closest rival. IBM's share of licence revenue climbed from 31% in 2001 to 37% in 2002, while BEA's share slipped from 34% to 29% over the same period.

BEA has accelerated its push into related markets for products such as portal software and integration software, landing in the top five suppliers in many of those related markets.

BEA will release Version 8.1 of its WebLogic Server Platform Edition this summer, which should strengthen its hand in the market for software used to integrate business applications, Chuang said.

Version 8.1 of its WebLogic Application Server was released earlier in the year; the platform edition adds BEA's portal server, integration server and Workshop developer environment in what BEA says is a tightly integrated package.

Providing integration software that helps businesses tie together disparate applications using web services will continue to be BEA's main focus, Chuang said.

The 8.1 release of its WebLogic Platform should make the job of integrating applications easier for developers by creating closer ties between its products for developing and deploying applications.

Rival Java suppliers IBM and Sun Microsystems are pursuing similar strategies, as is Microsoft with its .net platform.

BEA's integration products also compete with suppliers such as Tibco Software, SeeBeyond Technology and webMethods.

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