Oracle has reported strong software sales for the end of 2012, and predicts that the trend will continue into 2013, prompting optimism about the entire technology sector.

FBR Markets analyst Daniel Ives, said “I would call this a Christmas present. It’s a positive sign for the overall technology sector.”

Shares of the world’s No. 3 software maker rose 2.6 per cent after it reported fiscal second-quarter revenue and earnings that surpassed Wall Street forecasts.

While Oracle sales may principally reflect the US market, sales development specialists INCo are also seeing signs of growth in the UK. According to INCo Chief Executive, Neil Ritchie, “The sales environment in certain areas is still strong as major corporates look to new systems for market differentiation, particularly in areas like customer care.”

Oracle president Safra Catz told investors that businesses were still looking to spend money already allocated to 2012 technology budgets. Oracle said software sales would grow 3 to 13 per cent through its current quarter, which runs through February.

Jefferies & Co. analyst Ross MacMillan said Oracle’s results are encouraging for other makers of business software, many of which end their quarter in December 2012 but have yet to report.

“It tells you that there’s still money being spend by enterprises on software. It’s not like the world has ground to a halt,” Mr. MacMillan said, dispelling fears that the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ may have had an effect on sales.