While some technology vendors recently reported weak bank demand for hardware and software licenses, S1 Corp. said license sales helped boost its overall revenue in the first quarter.

The Norcross, Ga., banking technology vendor on Wednesday reported a rise in revenue of 13% from a year earlier, to $57.8 million, fueled by a 54% increase in software license revenue.

The jump was due largely to an increase in the number of licenses and license upgrades, Paul Parrish, S1's chief financial officer, said during an earnings conference call on Thursday.

The revenue surpassed analysts' estimates of $52.8 million.

The company also managed to eke out a small profit, posting net income of $682,000, compared with a loss of $1.1 million a year earlier.

S1's licensing results contrast with other financial technology vendors such as Fiserv Inc. and Jack Henry & Associates Inc., which reported weak licensing revenue in the first quarter.

S1's backlog of future sales also improved, prompting it to raise its revenue and earnings forecast for the year.

S1 expects sales for 2011 to be between $230 million and $240 million, up from an earlier estimate of $225 to $235 million. It expects earnings excluding certain expenses of $24 million to $28 million, up from a previous estimate of $22 million to $27 million.

The company's backlog of future revenue for its divisions for payments software and large financial institutions was $64.3 million, up 57% from a year earlier.

Its backlog was helped by the signing of nine new clients, including a "top five" bank in Thailand and in Colombia for its payments services, a second Thailand bank for online banking and a U.S. bank on the West Coast for its online business banking software.