Surpisingly strong first quarter for software giant SAP | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 14.04.2012
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Surpisingly strong first quarter for software giant SAP

German software giant SAP has reported strong first-quarter results with good chances of sticking to its 2012 targets. The company's shares reacted positively in Friday trading.

Europe's biggest software provider SAP said on Friday its overall revenues rose by 11 percent to 3.35 billion euros ($4.4 billion) in the January through March period of the current year. The company said it was sticking to its full-year targets for 2012, encouraged by start-of-year profits.

"After a preliminary review of our first quarter 2012 performance, we're reiterating our full-year outlook," SAP said in a statement. For the first three months of 2012, the company reported record business in the Asia-Pacific region and double-digit growth in many markets, including Latin America and Germany.

Q1 operating profit grew by 6.0 percent to total 630 million euros. Sales of software and software-related services jumped by 12.4 percent to 2.63 billion euros.

The US remained the only region where SAP revenues dropped; by 4 percent to 236 million euros. The company's management said steps had already been taken to address the issue.

Show must go on

The German software giant said it was expecting a strong second quarter. For the current year as a whole, SAP announced it reckoned with operating profit between 5.05 and 5.25 billion euros, compared with 4.71 billion euros in the previous year.

The company is currently investing heavily in new, innovative business fields, above all cloud computing. "The Cloud business is gaining momentum and is being fueled by our newly-acquired subsidiary, SuccessFactory," SAP said in a statement on Friday.

The firm's impressive Q1 figures plus its positive outlook sparked a strong rally of DAX-listed SAP shares. Stocks rose by 2.25 percent in Friday afternoon trading.

hg/ai (AFP, dapd, dpa)