SAP posts 12 percent fall in third quarter profit

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SAP, the professional software giant, posted on Wednesday a third quarter net profit of 501 million euros (690 million dollars), a drop of 12 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Sales of software and related services showed gains of at least 20 percent meanwhile, and the group confirmed its outlook for all of 2010.

A SAP statement said software revenues gained 25 percent to 656 million euros, while revenue from related services was 20 percent higher at 2.3 billion euros.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast software revenue at 645 million euros and total revenues of 2.96 billion euros.

"All of the regions reported growth in the third quarter, with particular strength in the US and the emerging markets of Asia, Europe and Latin America," the statement quoted finance director Werner Brandt as saying.

"We saw a good mix of revenues among small, mid-sized and large enterprises, and we had an increase in deal volume," he added.

The group's operating profit fell however by 16 percent to 716 million euros, and its operating margin was slightly lower at 23.8 percent.

SAP nonetheless confirmed its full-year targets of a nine to 11 percent increase in software revenue and operating margin of 30-31 percent.

© 2010 AFP

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