SAP misses operating profit expectations despite record revenues

By Danny Palmer
15 Jan 2013 View Comments
SAP building

SAP has released its preliminary Q4 figures, with the enterprise software corporation missing forecasts for operating profits, despite delivering record revenues.

The German firm reported total revenue from October through to December up by 12 per cent to a €5.06bn ($6.8bn) – a record figure for the company but a little short of analyst predictions of €5.17bn ($6.9bn).

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SAP's statement boasted of "strong overall growth in the fourth quarter", citing strong software sales in the Asia-Pacific region, along with "impressive results" in Europe and the Middle East.

The firm also noted that mobile software revenues of €222m matched company expectations.

Overall, operating profits rose slightly less than revenue, going up 10 per cent to €1.96bn, ($2.62bn) resulting in SAP operating margins dropping by just under one per cent to 38.8 per cent.

However, despite some reductions in revenue and operating margins, the firm has seen software-related service revenue grow for the third year in a row.

"This fourth quarter is the 12th consecutive quarter of double-digit SSRS revenue growth. Thereby our total revenue for the first time exceeded €5bn in a quarter," said Werner Brandt, SAP CFO.

"We invested significantly in key innovations while expanding our global go-to-market activities to further strengthen our mid-term growth ambition," he added.

Nonetheless, SAP shares dropped by 4.5 per cent after the figures were released.

SAP's Q4 results follow on from a strong third quarter, which saw a 17 per cent year-on-year rise in profits compared with 2011.

SAP is expected to report its full fourth-quarter and year-end results on 23 January.

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