I’m off to Autodesk University shortly, so this will be brief; more coming after I’m back.

AVEVA announced terrific results for their half-year ended September 30, 2008 — and their shares fell like a stone. The results: revenue increased 32% to £74.8 million (up 31% in Asia, up 46% in its Central/Eastern/Southern Europe region, and up 44% in the Americas) even as pre-tax profit jumped by 67% to £31 million. The company also reported strong cash flow for the six months, with net cash almost doubling over last year to £101 million.

The company says performance in the first half of fiscal 2009 was “driven by the
continuing demand for large, complex projects across all our major markets. Our
investment in new products and our ability to service these through our regional network of offices will continue to keep us close to the developing requirements of our customers.”

AVEVA’s shares, traded on the London exchange, have taken quite a dip as concerns
over the global economy have taken hold. The company, like so many others, is cautious in its outlook: “We acknowledge that recent and rapid developments within the world economy have created less certainty about future demand and whilst there has been little impact on our current trading we continue to monitor the situation closely.”

Parsing that sentence: little impact so far. But shares go down (or up, I suppose) on
potential — and since AVEVA can’t guarantee that its customers will continue to buy, shareholders are nervous. AVEVA’s customers are among the largest oil & gas producers and shipbuilders in the world and those companies can’t abandon projects underway. Demand for AVEVA’s solutions may decrease a bit but certainly not disastrously.

Switching topics: ESI Group announced today that it had bought a technology called Vdot, a project management tool that makes it easier for teams to reliably follow the right plan, performing tasks with the right data. According to ESI, current Vdot users include aerospace companies Boeing, NASA, and AVIC (China), as well as automotive firms Ford, Chrysler and Nissan. Financial details weren’t disclosed, but the acquisition included code as well as the entire development, sales and marketing support teams based in St Louis, Missouri. I need to find out more about Vdot, but it seems like an interesting turn in ESI’s strategic direction. Says Alain de Rouvray, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ESI Group: “Vdot naturally complements our range of digital simulation solutions, delivering virtual prototyping integration and synchronization within the PLM. Thus the combination Vdot/VisualDSS allows much faster and more reliable decision-making right from the start of the customer product lifecycle.