9 January 2002 Quarterly license sales at German software vendor SAP will top €1 billion in the fourth quarter to the end of December, weighing in 20% higher than analysts’ most optimistic expectations of about €800 million. The performance will contribute to better than expected full year results, due to be unveiled on 23 January.
The announcement helped push SAP stock up 6% to just under €160. SAP now says that revenues will increase by 16% to around €7.2 billion for the full year to the end of December 2001, with margins remaining at approximately 20%. It also contrasts sharply with disappointing figures for its third quarter, which prompted the company to initiate a minor reorganisation and cost-cutting programme.
But SAP admitted that the business environment remains “challenging”. In a statement, the company said that it expects that “customers will continue to invest cautiously in ebusiness software solutions.”
It is not the first time that SAP has released financial news early in order to dampen speculation about poor sales. In January 2001, SAP brushed off talk of depressed sales by releasing early its fourth-quarter results. These showed a rise in revenues of 27% to €2.1 billion for its fourth quarter of 2000.
SAP is the run-away market leader for ERP software and third largest software company in the world. It boasts more than 17,000 customers in more than 120 countries running 44,500 installations of SAP software.
The global software 100 (August 2001)
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