Adobe Systems announced its second-quarter results yesterday, exceeding earnings expectations thanks to sales of Acrobat 5.

The company reported a revenue-climb of 15 per cent, but warned that market conditions can only soften further, as the economic slowdown spreads from the US to Europe.

It predicts that revenues for the next quarter should remain unchanged from a year ago. Growth isn't expected to resume until the fourth quarter, when a new version of InDesign and several upgrades of its Web-publishing products hit the market. Analysts had expected revenue growth in the third quarter, so Wall Street is likely to lower expectations for the company.

Adobe's income was $61.3 million, compared with $65.8 million a year ago. Excluding one-time charges, earnings per share were $0.34 when analysts had anticipated $0.29.

Revenue for the quarter came in at $344.1 million, up 15 per cent. Photoshop, sales did not see growth. In after-hours trading, Adobe rose 2 per cent to $39.80 in response. The stock had fallen 2.9 perc ent in regular trading.

Sales in Europe were worse than the company expected, but sales in Asia were stronger than projected, Chief financial officer Murray Demo said in a conference call with investors. The Asian market should soften in the third quarter, helping to keep revenue about flat year to year, he added.

New products should spark growth in the fourth quarter, he said. Company research has found that design professionals continue to delay purchases of new software because of the sour economy. Now, for the first time, business users are beginning to defer purchases as well, Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen was reported as saying by the Industry Standard.