Strong U.S. Sales Help SAP Post 12% Gain in Q3

Software revenues gained 25%

SAP, the professional software giant, posted on Oct. 27 a third quarter net profit of 501 million euros (690 million dollars), a gain of 12% from the same period a year earlier.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a higher profit of 560 million euros for the group, which competes with companies like Microsoft and Oracle.

Sales of software and related services showed gains of at least 20% meanwhile, owing in large part to the acquisition of the firm Sybase, and SAP confirmed its outlook for all of 2010. SAP acquired Sybase in a deal worth $5.8 billion that closed at the end of July, and prior-year figures did not include Sybase's contribution to revenue and profit.

The company said software revenues, a key benchmark, gained 25% to 656 million euros, while revenue from related services was 20% higher at 2.3 billion euros.

"All of the regions reported growth in the third quarter, with particular strength in the U.S. and the emerging markets of Asia, Europe and Latin America," said finance director Werner Brandt.

"We saw a good mix of revenues among small, mid-sized and large enterprises, and we had an increase in deal volume," he added.

The group which is based in Walldorf, southwestern Germany, said operating profit was 16% higher at 716 million euros, though its operating margin was slightly lower at 23.8%.

SAP nonetheless confirmed full-year targets of a 9%-11% increase in software revenue and an operating margin of 30%-31%.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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