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SAP survive surprisingly good fourth quarter


DÜSSELDIORF. Europe’s largest software company, SAP AG, has surprisingly given its preliminary results for the fourth quarter of 2009 and the full year on the table. The result was then made much more positive than in the autumn of last year, feared by the company itself. Thus, the operating margin was 27.5 percent higher than the currency of self-imposed target from 25.5 to 27 percent, as announced in the DAX-listed Company.

Exploit the most important fourth quarter between October and late December in which their IT budgets, decreased sales of software and software-related services, according to preliminary figures by five percent to 2.56 billion euros. Analysts had forecast, on average, with 2.43 billion euros. Last, the market had expected a slight increase. Nevertheless, many analysts were pleasantly surprised to better figures. "In particular, the strong margin development, which is above the target range, catches your eye," said analyst Mark Guenther of the Hamburger Sparkasse.

The stock rose of 3.21 percent to 35.81 euros, and stood it on the Dax-tip. An outlook for the current year to the Walldorf, 27 January with the submission of the final quarter figures indicate. With the outlook for the fourth quarter in September, still prevailed pessimism: SAP CEO Leo Apotheker shocked the stock market especially with the announcement that the sales in calendar year 2009 will turn out six to eight percent lower than last year.

Until now, SAP AG had double-digit annual gains in the agenda was. Especially in software sales of the Group was expected in the traditionally high-turnover fourth quarter with 1.1 billion euros from good. Most analysts had SAP credited in the final quarter only a software revenue of around one billion euros after the company had cut in the wake of the financial and economic crisis around the globe, spending on new information technology.

Compared to its main competitor Oracle, SAP is full of his earnings for the fourth quarter trend. Overall, the IT business by the end of 2009 l dressed again. The American company was therefore able to report shortly before Christmas a profit. It rose in the second quarter of the company (until November 30) by 12.5 percent to nearly 1.46 billion U.S. dollars. Turnover grew by four percent to 5.86 billion U.S. dollars. Oracle recorded from September to November sales increase of two percent. Especially because the revenues are in software licenses compared to the first quarter before rising again – by two percent to 1.7 billion U.S. dollars. Revenue from updates and service benefits had risen by 14 percent to 3.2 billion U.S. dollars.

SAP on the stock market was well received, with its unexpectedly good business figures, the stock temporarily rose by six percent. The flight of fancy, however, was abruptly halted because SAP is going to give this year to increase the constant for many years, fees for software maintenance. To settle the dispute for months with the customers, the companies also announced that all future users could choose between the base for the maintenance service and an expensive, comprehensive maintenance variant. The German SAP user group DSAG praised the choice, for which she had starkgemacht themselves.

Meanwhile, Europe’s largest software vendor is in dispute in accordance to maintenance costs. After clients had fought in the traditional markets of Germany and Austria against higher prices for the maintenance of its software, SAP on Thursday took back a part of the announced changes. Thus, the higher quality and more expensive Enterprise Support maintenance of the current standard in Germany and Austria should not be replaced.

Both should coexist. In addition, the price ceilings for 2010 for the maintenance of existing enterprise support should not get contracts.

"The new support model of SAP is a direct response to the many conversations that said, we have conducted with our customers and user groups," SAP CEO Leo Apotheker. "We have taken into account the feedback and suggestions from our worldwide customers."

With the current service model from 2010 can now also German and Austrian customers how to decide all customers worldwide, for an option. In 2010, a standard maintenance is maintenance of maximum rate of 18 percent of the license fee. Increases in compensation are possible in the future pursuant to contractual arrangements. At Enterprise Support maintenance of existing rates remain unaffected. An upgrade to SAP Enterprise Support to current conditions is for German and Austrian customers, before 15 March possible. Thereafter, the rate automatically increases to 22 percent.