Hot Year In Business Analytics: SAS Reports 12 Percent Sales Growth In 2011

Business analytics software developer SAS Institute recorded 12 percent sales growth in 2011 with revenue reaching $2.73 billion, the company said Thursday.

SAS, the largest privately held software company in the U.S., said the results marked its 36th profitable year. The company generally provides few details about its financial performance other than annual sales.

"Companies trust SAS business analytics to solve their toughest problems, from increasing revenue through better pricing strategies to stopping fraud-related losses," said CEO Jim Goodnight, in a statement.

The company, based in Cary, N.C., did disclose some statistics: Its staff increased by 9.2 percent in 2011 and it re-invested a hefty 24 percent of its revenue into research and development. The Americas accounted for 46 percent of the company's sales with EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) accounting for 42 percent and Asia-Pacific 12 percent.

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SAS said growth was strong all across its product lines and industry categories. Sales of fraud detection applications increased triple digits while revenue from on-demand software grew almost 50 percent. Sales of business analytics and information management products grew at double digits, as did customer intelligence, retail, risk management and supply chain applications.

Sales to customers in financial services, health care, government and life sciences markets were particularly strong in 2011, the company said.

In 2012 the company will continue to develop analytical software that helps customers work with "big data," the rapidly growing volume of information generated by untraditional sources such as social networks and RFID systems. "The search for business value in big data is today's gold rush," said Jim Davis, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, in a statement.