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SAS achieves record revenue: $2.26 billion in 2008

Business analytics leader SAS continued its unbroken chain of growth in 2008, logging global revenue of US$2.26 billion, up 5.1 percent over 2007 results. In the UK, software revenue grew by 6 percent.

“We achieved our 33rd-year of revenue growth in the worst economy most can remember,” said CEO Jim Goodnight. “This growth is a direct result of being a stable privately held company, which allows us to invest in long-term relationships with employees and customers.”

SAS’ strongest growth was in analytics, data mining and solutions that help organisations keep current customers and win new ones, manage risk and optimise processes. Goodnight said, “In tough times companies focus on optimising their businesses.”

Strong product coupled with talented employees led to SAS UK, the largest subsidiary outside of the US, to report a record year for new license sales, with total revenues reaching US$169.0 million. New sales along with strong renewals from existing customers led to overall software growth of 6 percent to US$146.4 million. SAS UK’s year-on-year growth continued to be supported by its banking business, which grew by 25 percent; a testament to the fact that SAS helps organisations through the most testing economic circumstances. SAS UK also reported strong growth in the government sector (29 percent) with major wins in defence, national security and police.

Henry Morris, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Software and Service Research at IDC said: "IDC surveys of business intelligence software buyers during 2008 show that a vendor's economic viability is gaining in priority as a factor in software selection. SAS's long-term record of continued year-over-year growth positions it favorably, therefore, in this economic downturn."

ORGANISATIONS PARTNER WITH SAS TO MANAGE TOP AND BOTTOM LINE

Driven by the challenging economic climate, customers turned to SAS’ market-leading business analytics to derive money-saving and money-making insights from ever-growing volumes of data. Risk management solutions were up 28 percent, and optimisation software sales increased 18 percent. In addition, SAS saw strong sales growth in multiple industries, led by energy and utilities with a 27 percent increase, and capital markets, which jumped 15 percent. Total revenue from analytics and data mining rose more than 15 percent.

Other highlights:

- Double-digit increases were achieved in data integration solutions in life sciences and government.

- Revenue for analytics products exceeded 20 percent growth in the healthcare and education industries.

- Double-digit growth was achieved in business intelligence applications in government, retail and life sciences.

- More than 50 percent growth was achieved in customer intelligence solutions in insurance.

SAS’ GLOBAL FOOTPRINT GROWS

SAS gained 2,600 new customers from around the world in 2008. Customers new to SAS include: Allianz Bank Polska S.A., Banco Bradesco SA, China CITIC Bank, Etihad Airways, Kaiser + Kraft Europa GMBH, Nintendo of America, Inc., Reply S.P.A., S2P, Samsung SDI, Southwest Airlines, and Vector Casa De Bolsa SA DE CV. Customers new to SAS UK include: Ministry of Defence, North Yorkshire Police, Matalan, London Fire Brigade, Victor Chandler, HF Holidays, Swinton and Playphone.

GLOBAL SUCCESS, INNOVATION THROUGH ACQUISITION

As in previous years, SAS revenue growth remained globally balanced, contributing to the company’s stability. The Americas accounted for 43 percent of total revenue; Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) 45 percent; and Asia/Pacific 12 percent.

Of note are high growth rates in emerging markets – 25 percent in Latin America, 20 percent in India and more than 15 percent in major eastern European countries. “Our performance in some of the hardest hit economies affirms that the world, now more than ever, needs analytics to provide answers to complex business problems in order to innovate and lead with confidence,” Goodnight said.

SAS re-invested 22 percent of 2008 revenue in R&D and ended the year with 11,019 employees, up 3.5 percent in 2007. SAS for the 12th time in a row was named to FORTUNE magazine’s annual list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America. In addition to ranking No. 20 on the list, SAS was listed as one of the best for healthcare, childcare and work-life balance.

On the innovation front, SAS successfully integrated the employees and technologies of two companies in 2008:

• Teragram, a 40-person firm headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., expands SAS’ analytical portfolio with natural language processing and advanced linguistic technology.

• IDeaS Revenue Optimisation, a 200-person Minneapolis firm, complements SAS’ advanced analytics, business intelligence and industry-specific solutions with revenue-management capabilities specifically for the travel and hospitality industries.

EFFECTIVE PARTNERING YIELDS RESULTS

SAS' growing network of alliance and channel partners played an integral role in 28 percent of sales and almost half of the top 50 global deals. Of note are strategic initiatives including partnerships with leading systems integrators, continued efforts with Teradata Corp., and a continued focus on third-party channels.

Partnerships with systems integrators Accenture, CapGemini, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro Technologies and others offer customers the resources and expertise to leverage SAS business analytics throughout the enterprise. SAS is continuing its in-database analytic efforts with Teradata via the SAS and Teradata Advantage Program launched in 2008.

DIRECTION

With the economy predicted to remain challenging through the first half of 2009, SAS will continue to invest in technology and solutions that help customers improve performance. SAS will continue to roll out SAS 9.2 enhancements and deliver new solutions in the areas of fraud, customer insight, risk and analytics as part of a business analytics framework. SAS will remain committed to sustainability, both as a software solution provider and as a corporate citizen.“SAS is very strong in data management and business process management, so we’re in a very good position,” said SAS Senior Vice President Jim Davis. “Organisations will be looking to harness data they already have into a business analytics framework to move forward. Value-based solutions are critical for surviving challenging times.”