Symantec reports another record quarter

Security software company Symantec recorded another record quarter, posting revenue of $577m (£313m) for its first quarter of...

Security software company Symantec recorded another record quarter, posting revenue of $577m (£313m) for its first quarter of 2005 and net income of $131m.

The company saw revenue increase by $186m, or 48%, over the same quarter last year. Net income more than doubled to $131m, from $59m in the first quarter of 2004, driven in part by the appearance of serious new threats, including the Sasser worm in May, said Greg Myers, the company's chief financial officer.

The strong first-quarter performance prompted the company to raise its financial guidance for the year by $70m, Symantec said.

Business was split between Symantec's consumer and enterprise groups, with consumer purchases making up 52% of total revenue and enterprise purchases 48%, Myers said.

Demand in both areas was strong, but consumer demand for the company's security software spiked with the appearance of Sasser, driving consumer revenue up 79% over the same quarter a year earlier. Sales of enterprise products increased 24% over last year, Myers said.

"The outbreak of Sasser had a powerful impact on our consumer channel, but enterprise [revenue] grew by 29%, which is better than our peer group," he said, referring to Symantec's competitors.

Within the enterprise business, sales of enterprise security products accounted for 35% of total revenue. Enterprise administration products, such as the company's life cycle management tools, accounted for 11% of total revenue and grew 27% over the year-on-quarter. Symantec's security services business accounted for 2% of total revenue, and grew by 14% over past year.

Besides the steady stream of new threats and malicious code on the internet, international sales helped boost Symantec's performance, Myers said. Revenue internationally grew 51% year-on-year and represented 52% of total revenue in the first quarter.

Symantec saw big increases in sales over last year in Asia (62%); Europe, the Middle East and Africa (49%), and the Americas (43%).

The company is confident that it will finish the year stronger than it initially estimated, Myers said.

Symantec has raised its guidance for its second quarter, estimating revenue of $580m, up from its previous forecast of $565m.

Paul Roberts writes for IDG News Service

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