Oracle sees continued growth in Asia

Oracle expects Asian demand for its software to continue in the months ahead, an executive said.

Oracle expects strong demand for its products to continue in Asia, despite continued weakness in Japan and efforts by the Chinese government to slow down the country's fast-growing economy, a senior company executive said Wednesday.

"I continue to see strength in the [Asia-Pacific] marketplace. I think the underlying fundamentals, with the exception of Japan, are growth fundamentals," said Derek Williams, executive vice president of Oracle, speaking to the media in a conference call.

Oracle's revenue from Asia-Pacific sales during the third quarter of its 2005 fiscal year totaled US$425 million, an increase of 13 percent over the same period one year ago, Williams said. Oracle's fiscal third quarter ended on Feb. 28.

"I think we had a very solid third quarter in Asia-Pacific," Williams said, citing particularly strong performances by the company in India, China and Australia.

Demand for applications that run on Linux was strong throughout the Asia-Pacific region during the quarter, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, Williams said. "Ninety percent of our application sales in those countries are Linux-based," he said.

The Asia-Pacific region accounts for a sizable chunk of Oracle's overall revenue. Fourteen percent of Oracle's worldwide revenue came from Asia during its fiscal third quarter and the region accounted for 20 percent of its new product license revenue, he said.

Williams offered no signs that Chinese government efforts to cool the country's economy are a source of concern for Oracle. Chinese officials have publicly expressed the desire to slow the country's economy somewhat in order to avoid overheating. China's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by more than 9 percent during 2004 and is expected to increase by more than 8 percent this year.

"How many countries around the world would love to have an 8.1 percent GDP growth? I think everybody would," Williams said.

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