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In the Crossvision business line, we increased licensing revenues from our products by 106 percent to €13.8 million (Q1 2006: €6.7 million). License revenues from our ETS business line also performed well with an increase of 24 percent from €26.7 million to €33.1 million.
While the maintenance business experienced good growth rates in fiscal 2006, the revenue trend was subdued for both business lines in the first quarter of 2007. Maintenance revenues, which are reported in euros, declined by 6 percent from the previous year's figure of €47.5 million to €44.5 million. Some 5 percent of the decrease was due to currency translation effects. The strong Euro is making our high revenues in the U.S. and South Africa in particular appear lower. Another reason for the decline in comparison with the prior-year period was non-recurring income reported in the first quarter of 2006, which drove revenues up considerably. Without these effects, the first quarter of 2007 would have seen a slight increase in maintenance revenues. In the coming quarters, our sales activities will increase focus more on the maintenance business. We expect to see an improved trend here in the second half of 2007.
Professional Services business remains stableOur Professional Services business achieved a slight gain in the first quarter of 2007 despite the dampening effects of restructuring in Spain, France, and Germany, where we achieved sales of €32.6 million to surpass last year's figure of €32.2 million by 1 percent.
In the Crossvision business line, we increased Professional Services revenues by 17 percent from 13.6 million in the first quarter of 2006 to €15.9 million in the first quarter of 2007. The ETS business line, however, saw a decline of 11 percent in Professional Services revenues to €16.7 million (Q1 2006: €18.7 million).
Our key markets made a significant contribution to sales growth. In the U.S. and Canada, we increased revenues by 9.0 percent to €31.2 million. In Spain, we generated approximately €20 million, an increase of 10 percent over the prior year. In Germany, revenues increased by 19 percent to €16.2 million, and the U.K. saw revenue growth of 10 percent to €11.2 million. In the JACA region (Japan, Asia, China, Australia), sales climbed by 30 percent to €11.2 million - clear evidence of the success of our international growth strategy.
In the first quarter of 2007, we increased operating earnings (EBIT) by 16 percent to €25.0 million (Q1 2006: €21.5 million), despite the fact that we had to absorb non-recurring expenses of approximately €5 million. The EBIT margin rose in line with EBIT by more than 1 percentage point to 20 percent. This continued earnings growth was due in part to the significant increase in the high-margin license business along with our ongoing efforts to optimize costs and processes.
Our Crossvision business line made a balanced earnings contribution for the first time after a loss of €5.1 million in the prior-year period. Crossvision is thus well on its way to improving profitability. The cost of sales increased by 28 percent to €19.8 million (Q1 2006: €15.5 million) based on the growth in the service business and the use of non-proprietary products for the Crossvision Suite. Selling expenses declined somewhat, but remained at a high level. Selling expenses represented 45 percent of total sales, a drop of 17 percentage points from the first quarter of 2006.
The contribution of the ETS business line to segment earnings increased 5 percent from €51.3 million to €53.9 million. The cost of sales fell 14 percent due to lower sales volumes. Selling costs rose 15 percent to €16.1 million as a result of marketing campaigns for additional products.
Income after taxes increased by 23 percent to €17.7 million in the reporting period, up from €14.4 million a year earlier. Earnings per share rose by 24 percent to €0.63 (Q1 2006: €0.51), even though the number of shares in circulation increased by an average of nearly 240,000 over the first quarter of 2006 to 28.3 million.