Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer at Keysight Technologies
Thank you, Jason, and thank you all for joining us. Keysight delivered a strong start to the year. First quarter results are evidence that our broad-based portfolio of differentiated solutions is aligned with the market's most important design and test challenges. We are enabling our customers to address rapidly evolving technologies and market opportunities. Today, I'll focus my comments on three key headlines. First, we continue to see sustained robust demand with record orders again exceeding our expectations.
Growth in the quarter was broad-based and balanced across our diverse set of end markets and across all regions. Orders grew 22% year-over-year and were 31% higher than the first quarter of 2020, just prior to the initial impact of the COVID pandemic. Second, record first quarter revenue and earnings per share exceeded the high end of our guidance despite ongoing supply constraints. Our results and exceptional execution by the Keysight team continue to demonstrate the durability and resilience of our business. And third, Keysight solutions are aligned with the long-term secular trends fueled by ongoing innovation across multiple markets.
Our investments in growth initiatives and supply chain resiliency are paying off. We continue to expect to deliver 6% to 7% revenue growth for the year, and given the stronger-than-guided first quarter earnings, to achieve 12% earnings growth. We are confident in the strength of the company we built and our ability to drive above-market profitable growth over the long term. Accordingly, with the recent equity market volatility, we capitalized on the opportunity to create value for shareholders by accelerating our share repurchases in the past two quarters.
Now let's take a deeper look into our first quarter results. We delivered another quarter of record orders, which grew 22% to $1.5 billion. This outpaced record first quarter revenue, which grew 6% to $1.25 billion. We achieved gross margin of 66%, operating margin of 28% and EPS of $1.65, all of which were first quarter records. Although supply constraints continue to moderate revenue, Keysight's consistent execution and focus on growth initiatives across the 5G ecosystem, automotive and software position us well to capitalize on a robust demand environment. The Electronics Industrial Solutions Group delivered double-digit order and revenue growth for the sixth consecutive quarter.
Record orders were driven by strong demand for automotive and semiconductor solutions as well as broad general electronic applications. Our differentiated solutions position us well to win in the fast-expanding automotive market, where we achieved all-time record orders and record first quarter revenue. Orders grew well over 50% in the quarter and exceeded 50% growth over the past year. Manufacturing capacity continued to expand to meet pent-up demand, and the EV and AV technology investment accelerated. This happened particularly in Europe and China, where EV market share of total car sales in 2021 increased to 19% and 15%, respectively.
Demand remains strong from leading manufacturers for both EV and AV production test solutions, power semiconductors, automotive electronics and RF and millimeter wave wireless test. Keysight continues to engage with global industry leaders such as BMW, Sony Semiconductor Solutions and Proventia to enable next-generation technologies across the automotive R&D and production workflows. Strong demand for our semiconductor solutions drove double-digit order and revenue growth and resulted in record orders and record first quarter revenue.
Investments remain high in advanced semiconductor technologies and capacity expansion to serve a broad set of applications, including silicon-rich smartphones, high-performance computing, IoT and autos. In general electronics, we achieved record orders with double-digit growth across all regions driven by investment in manufacturing and device development for consumer and industrial IoT, digital health, connectivity and remote monitoring.
Turning to the Communications Solutions Group. We delivered record first quarter orders and revenue with double-digit order growth across all regions. Commercial communications orders achieved the second-highest quarter on record with double-digit order and revenue growth in the Americas and Europe. We see continued strength in 400G and 800G Ethernet solutions for enterprise and service provider customers as well as increasing demand for terabit communication solutions. Driven by the ongoing investment in data center and cloud applications, orders for Keysight's differentiated, high-performance, real-time oscilloscopes grew triple digits this quarter.
Keysight's leadership in 5G Release 16 applications, broad test case coverage and our strategic role in O-RAN are enabling our expansion across the broad communications ecosystem. Our 5G customer base is growing as deployments begin to scale, and we are enabling disruptive technologies with key industry players, such as Qualcomm to demonstrate 3.5-gigabit uplink data throughput, Chunghwa Telecom in Taiwan to accelerate verification of O-RAN connectivity, KT Corporation in South Korea to verify advanced 5G new radio features and LG Electronics to demonstrate 6G radio frequencies.
Investments remain strong in 5G wireless R&D and manufacturing as well as networking as market expansion transitions to devices, network equipment and the aerospace, defense vertical. In aerospace, defense and government, double-digit order growth was driven by demand for signal monitoring, cyber, space and satellite as well as 5G and 6G applications. Demand was particularly strong in Asia Pacific and Europe. As design, test and measurement solutions grow in complexity, software and services are an increasingly more important differentiator for Keysight.
Combined, they represented more than 1/3 of total revenue this quarter, increasing recurring revenue and contributing to the resiliency and predictability of our business. In summary, demand remains strong for Keysight's software-centric portfolio of differentiated solutions across all of our end markets and regions. Since the pandemic began in 2020, Keysight has been focused on supporting our customers and delivering on our commitments. We have implemented new sourcing strategies and increased partner engagement to improve supply chain flexibility, diversification and resilience.
While fully focused on our near-term priorities, we continue to work towards a long-term sustainable vision for the company and for the communities in which we operate. The Keysight leadership model drives us to deliver business value through ethical, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible operations. Corporate social responsibility is an enabling value of the KLM, and we are proud to have been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the third year in a row. Keysight's inclusion exemplifies the company's continued commitment to building a better planet.
This includes ambitious targets that support several UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as our commitment to achieve net-zero emissions in our company operations by fiscal year 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement goal of 2050. As we accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, we are better positioned than ever to deliver value to our customers, shareholders and employees.
Now I will turn it over to Neil to discuss our financial performance and outlook in more detail.