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Cognos profits jump 28%

No matter how you slice and dice the numbers, analytical toolmaker Cognos is starting its fiscal year off right.

No matter how you slice and dice the numbers, analytical toolmaker Cognos is starting its fiscal year off right.

The Otttawa, Canada-based firm's profits jumped 28.4 percent to $11.3 million or 25 cents a share the first quarter ended May 31 from $8.8 million or 19 cents a share for the like quarter last year.

Revenue for the period was $67.3 million, a 25 percent increase from last year's first quarter revenue of $53.8 million. Pretax income for the quarter was $13.8 million representing a profit margin of more than 20 percent.

Cognos makes analytical and application development tools. Its flagship analysis tool is PowerPlay, which is used to do online analytical processing (OLAP), a method of analyzing critical corporate data such as year-end profits, cost center analysis, or customer sales data.

Licensing revenue for the suite of analytical products during the quarter grew 33 percent from last year's like period to $49.2 million. It represents more than half of all the firm's revenue stream. Among the customers of the products are Chase Manhattan Bank, America Online, Marriott, and Bell Atlantic.

The company's core application development tools are PowerHouse and Axiant. Revenue for the two was $18.1 million for the period compared to $17 million the like period last year.

Among the key products Cognos rolled out during the period was Accelerator for SAP, a tool that pulls data out of SAP's R/3 system and prepares it for analysis with Cognos's analytical tools. Also announced was PowerPlay Version 6, which the company said is to be a more scalable and better performing version of the analysis tool. It is due for release this summer.