Sun's NZ profit jumps

Sun Microsystems has boosted its New Zealand profits from $1.15 million in its 2007 financial year to $3.84 million in 2008.

The profit improvement comes off a much smaller boost in sales, from $73.6 million to $74.7 million for the year ended June.

A reduction in expenses in the "other" category of accounts lodged with the Companies Office is the major contributor. Employee salary and wages increased from $8.3 million to $9.2 million year-on-year.

However, both 2007 and 2008 revenues were down on 2006 when Sun recorded $80.9 million in sales locally.

While business seems healthy locally, questions are being asked about Sun's debt position and prospects globally. US investment website Motley Fool recently put Sun on its "sell" list, saying: "Sun's capital position seems to worsen with every passing quarter. And now, CIOs say their top 2009 priority is server consolidation, which means they're angling to unplug the Sun gear they've bought in years past. Ouch."

Sun has appeared on several other lists of stocks that could be hit hard in 2009.

In response to one such listing, Sun spokesman Shawn Dainas told US paper the Mercury News the company was well positioned and "has among the most relevant technologies and platforms on the planet — whether it's Java on six billion devices, the world's most popular open source database MySQL, ZFS and open storage products growing at 150%, or our energy-efficient server line that's now a US$1.1 billion business."

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