Wednesday, 27 January, 2016

SAP raises 2017 goals after 'tremendous' year in 2015

Revenue in 2015 by comparison was €20.8 billion and operating profit was €6.35 billion Revenue in 2015 by comparison was €20.8 billion and operating profit was €6.35 billion
Dillon Hess | 23 January, 2016, 02:29

SAP showed progress in remaking itself as a supplier of cloud computing software as more customers adopted a revamped version of its main product, prompting it to boost sales and profit forecasts for next year.

The SAP CEO contrasted the 13 percent revenue growth in his company's cloud business during the fourth quarter to the performance of arch-rival Oracle, whose cloud business grew a modest 2 percent in constant currency terms last quarter.

In an interview, Mr. Mucic confirmed that SAP's dividend payment to shareholders for 2015 won't be lower than the EUR1.10 it paid out the year before.

"SAP HANA enables companies to make real-time, informed decisions about their business", said Gary Gauba, president of CenturyLink Cognilytics.

SAP said that operating profit, adjusted for some items, will be between 6.7 billion euros ($7.26 billion) and 7 billion euros ($7.59 billion) in 2017, up from its previous estimate of between 6.3 billion euros ($6.83 billion) and 7 billion euros ($7.59 billion). SAP a year ago forecast non-IFRS operating profit for 2017 to be in a range of EUR6.3 billion to EUR7 billion.

Europe's largest software maker had struck a cautious tone at its 2015 results presentation last week even as it said strong year-end renewals by existing software license customers fueled a better-than-expected result in 2015.

The transition to the cloud has squeezed overall profitability in the short- to mid term.

CenturyLink offers differentiated services through its ability to support cloud-based development/test environments, manage large-scale production workloads and provide metro-specific disaster recovery services. However, the company reiterated that it expects cloud subscriptions and support revenue to overtake software license revenue in 2018. Cloud, and software revenue climbed 27 percent, propelled by the U.S. Asia-Pacific cloud and software revenue rose 18 percent, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa saw an 11 percent rise in the same measure.

Like IBM this week, despite trumpeting more cloud business for the year, SAP has posted a fall in profits for the last 12 months.

SAP has said more than 2,700 customers are running the new S/4 Hana suite, more than double the number at the end of the third quarter.

Friday's results come almost two weeks after SAP pre-released some figures for the quarter and 2015, and its outlook for the current year.

Software licenses and support - SAP's traditional business - was up 13 per cent to 14.9bn ($16.2bn).

Looking ahead to 2016, SAP said that "based on the continued strong momentum in our cloud business, we expect... full-year non-IFRS operating profit to be in a range of 6.4-6.7 billion euros", compared with 6.35 billion euros in 2015.

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