Adobe announced an 18 per cent gain in its second quarter earnings yesterday - and took a pop at Quark.

With Quark preparing to release QuarkXPress 6.0 next week, Adobe executive vice president Shantanu Narayen told Reuters: "While Quark is now playing catch up to InDesign 2.0, we are hard at work on the next major update to InDesign."

Quark president and CEO Fred Ebrahimi was penitent when announcing the application last Tuesday. Its slow release is regarded by many as partially responsible for Apple's flat professional sales and slowing migration to OS X: "The truth of the matter is we should have done this earlier," he said. "My apologies to all of you for being late."

Adobe did warn that results for its current quarter would miss Wall Street estimates, forecasting revenue of $300 million to $315 million. The company forecast net and pro forma operating margins of 28 per cent. For the just gone quarter Adobe returned a net income of $64.2 million, $9.9 million higher than in the year-ago quarter.

Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen said expectations were conservative because the company expected to be hit by seasonally affected consumer sales and the chance that school spending would be hurt by tight State budgets.

The company attributed the strong quarter to sales of its Acrobat product lines. "Initial orders exceeded our expectations," said Chizen.