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SAP Online Software Boosts Sales as Profit Lags Estimates


SAP SE, the largest maker of business-management software, said online applications helped boost second-quarter revenue while reporting operating profit that trailed analysts’ estimates.

Software and related service sales rose 4 percent to 3.48 billion euros ($4.7 billion) from a year earlier, Walldorf, Germany-based SAP said in a statement today. Operating profit excluding some items climbed 4 percent to 1.24 billion euros. Analysts on average predicted 3.45 billion euros in revenue and operating profit of 1.26 billion euros, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Bill McDermott, who became sole chief executive officer in May, is positioning SAP to become a bigger supplier of cloud-computing software as Salesforce.com Inc. and Workday Inc. have taken market share. SAP, whose applications help companies manage financial reporting and manufacturing, has been making acquisitions — including Fieldglass in March — to add online programs for human resources, marketing and e-commerce.

Second-quarter sales of cloud-computing subscriptions and support rose 32 percent to 242 million euros, topping the average 238.4 million-euro estimate.

SAP raised its full-year forecast for that sales component to 1 billion euros to 1.05 billion euros, excluding currency swings. The previous guidance was for 950 million euros to 1 billion euros.

License Sales

The transition to online computing is cutting into sales of applications that run on businesses’ own computers. Sales of new licenses, a measure of future revenue potential, fell 2 percent to 957 million euros.

“As this company goes from a license and maintenance model there is some risk,” said Stacy Pollard, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in London. “The value of SAP has been their industry functionality,” she said. ’The idea is to cloudify everything they do.’’

SAP and Oracle Corp. have been wrestling with the industry’s transition to software delivered as an online service, and both companies have been realigning their engineering staffs and making acquisitions to adapt. Oracle, the world’s biggest maker of database software, on June 19 reported fourth-quarter sales and profit that missed estimates.

The following week, Oracle agreed to buy Micros Systems Inc., a maker to software for hotels and restaurants, for $5.3 billion.

(Source: Bloomberg)