SAP Returns to Growth and Profits in the First Quarter

SAP said Wednesday that its first-quarter software and software-related service revenue rose 12 percent over the previous year, to €1.95 billion (US$2.62 billion).

Software revenue for the quarter was €464 million, up by 11 percent from the same quarter last year, the company said.

The company saw strong results from rapidly expanding demand for SAP BusinessObjects products, as well as in its small and mid-size enterprise business, it said.

SAP reported its results in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The company switched to IFRS reporting this year from U.S. GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles).

The preliminary financial results indicate a turnaround for SAP which saw software and software-related service revenues, and net income drop in the fourth quarter of last year.

A number of research firm have forecast a growth in IT spending this year, which is expected to benefit software companies. Gartner said this month that worldwide IT spending is forecast to reach $3.4 trillion in 2010, a 5.3 percent increase from IT spending of $3.2 trillion in 2009.

Worldwide software spending is expected to reach $232 billion in 2010, up by 5.1 percent increase from last year, Gartner added.

SAP's non-IFRS software and software-related service revenue was €1.95 billion in the quarter, an increase of 11 percent over last year.

The company's profit under IFRS was €387 million, an increase of 97 percent, while non-IFRS profit was €435 million, an increase of 65 percent over the same quarter last year.

SAP expects non-IFRS software and software-related service revenue for 2010 to increase in a range of 4 percent to 8 percent at constant currencies.

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