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Informix Reports Eighth Consecutive Quarter Of Growth.

Informix Corp saw its eighth consecutive profitable quarter yesterday, posting strong sales and net income in what the company's CEO Jean Yves Dexmier described as a "pivotal quarter" for the database software vendor.

Net income for the third quarter was $23.9m, or $0.12 a share, beating analysts' estimates polled by First Call by two cents, on revenues up 17% at $215.9m. License revenue totaled $106.3m, an increase of 10% year over year, driven by growth in all geographic regions, Informix said. North America showed the slowest growth, increasing just 5%, to $96.7m, year over year. Informix admitted it was "slightly disappointed" with the sales but added that the pipeline was strong going into the fourth quarter.

Revenue in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region increased 22% from a year ago to $73.1m, while Latin America saw sales of $20.9m, up 66% from the third quarter last year. Informix said greater execution on several large transactions helped boost the region's strong growth, although it added it doesn't expect to keep up that growth for Latin America going forward.

During a conference call with investors, Dexmier said the company's financials were proof that Informix had finally stabilized its business model and was now able to deliver stable quarters with confidence. He said the quarter was even more significant because it had seen Informix make the transition from a database-only vendor into an internet-focused business, best exemplified by the launch of its Foundation 2000 web-based platform in July.

He said the key to Foundation 2000 was its object relational technology, which he said was essential for companies moving forward into the internet age. "The internet requires heterogeneity," he said. "Other database vendors have acknowledged the internet needs object relational technology and are in process of developing it. However, Informix is the only one with it today."

Dexmier said the introduction of its Foundation 2000 platform put the company at least 12 to 18 months ahead of its competition. He criticized other vendors' attempts - notably Oracle's - to encourage users to centralize their applications and said that it was software vendors' responsibility to promote the distributed client/server environment as of way of letting users retain control of their application environments. "I absolutely believe the next generation will be internet distributed," he told ComputerWire. "Two or three years from now, everything will be decentralized again." It was for that reason, Dexmier said, that Informix purchased Cloudscape Inc during the quarter. He said the company saw a great need to customers to be able to run and manage their own databases locally, on laptop PCs and handheld devices, and not be beholden to a centralized database where problems with bandwidth congestion dictated the speed and efficiency with which users could work. He said the company would release the next version of the Cloudscape database at the Java Business Expo show in December and would publish the software in Japanese, German, Spanish and Latin American language formats. Having closed the deal at the end of October, the Cloudscape acquisition will not have any effect on Informix's financial status until the fourth quarter, the CEO said.

With the launch of Foundation 2000, coupled with the latest release of its business intelligence products, its i.Sell and i.Reach e-commerce software and Media 360 digital content management product, Dexmier said that in just a few months, the company had been able to release a complete product cycle optimized for the internet.
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Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 21, 1999
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