French headquartered but very much US-focused end-user query tool software maven Business
Objects has reported full year results showing gains in revenue but declines in profits. Sales were
up 40% in 1996 from $60.6m to $85.1m, but net income sharply fell year on year, from $8.0m to $5.2m.
Fourth quarter figures showed the same pattern, with revenues up 31% to $25.8m, compared to
$19.8m for the same period in 1995, but with net income down to $1.8m from $3.3m. Business Objects
struggled somewhat in 1996. It was obliged to restate its first quarter results after a European sale
of $1.4m had to be wiped off the books due to actions by an employee that circumvented
standard financial procedures; a class action suit resulted. There were also some issues to do
with software quality and stability. However, its president and CEO, Bernard Liautaud, claims
the results show the company has largely overcome our product transition issues and that the
company is on the way to a full recovery.