18 October 2002 Unix systems vendor Sun Microsystems has reported revenues down by a fifth in the quarter to the end of September compared to its previous quarter. The disappointing results put paid to any thoughts of a robust recovery at Sun and the company responded by confirming rumours of further lay-offs.
Sun posted revenues of $2.75 billion (€2.83bn) in the first quarter of fiscal 2003, down by 20% compared to the fourth quarter and by 4% compared to the $2.86 billion (€2.94bn) it reported in the same period a year earlier.
It followed a promising fourth quarter when it had reported revenues up by a tenth, year-on-year, which had fuelled hopes of a recovery at Sun.
The company also reported a sizeable operating loss of $211 million (€217m), which was down by half compared to the same period a year earlier as a result of cost-cuts implemented since the start of the recession in the computer industry.
Sun also confirmed analyst reports of an 11% cut in staff, intended to help return the company to consistent profitability.
“Sun has done an outstanding job in maintaining fiscal discipline but it hasn’t been enough to counterbalance revenue shortfalls caused by the protracted economic downturn. We believe the actions announced today are necessary to return Sun to profitability,” said Sun chief financial officer Steve McGowan.
In addition, said CEO Scott McNealy, Sun has started to target more aggressively new vertical markets, including life sciences, healthcare and retail.