Software sales slide

Applications giant Oracle saw revenue from new software license sales dip 3 per cent to $1.6bn in its latest fiscal quarter, confirming analyst predictions that next year will be a tough one for IT vendors as corporate buyers freeze or suspend budgets.

Services revenue also dipped 2 per cent to $1.1bn, but a 14 per cent increase in the sales value of license updates and product support helped Oracle post total revenue of $5.6bn for the quarter, up 6 per cent year on year.

Yesterday [Thursday] saw financial analysts at the Goldman Sachs Group forecast that spending on computers, software and IT services will decline 4 per cent in 2009, with a particularly tough first quarter forcing IT vendors into job cuts and consolidation.

European consultancy giant Accenture appears to have escaped the worse so far, but revised full year revenue forecasts for 2009 downwards. New IT outsourcing and consulting contracts from communications and energy clients in its latest fiscal quarter swelled Accenture’s income to $480m from $381m a year earlier, with sales rising 6.1 per cent to $6bn.

Elsewhere, healthy demand for its latest Blackberry smartphones has lead Research in Motion’s (RIM) to forecast fourth quarter revenue of $3.5bn on the back of 8m unit sales, though income may fall due to lower selling prices.

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