SAP: License sales to exceed 1 billion euros in Q4

Better-than-expected fourth-quarter software sales at SAP AG should enable it to beat its full-year 2001 revenue forecast, the company said Wednesday. It had previously lowered its forecast in October.

Software license sales in the fourth quarter should come in at more than 1 billion euros (US$890 million), SAP said after a preliminary review. Analysts had forecasted, on average, 790 million euros in license sales for the quarter, an SAP spokesman said.

Full-year 2001 revenue growth should be over 16 percent with the strong sales, SAP said, slightly ahead of the revised growth forecast of 15 percent it made in October.

SAP also said it expects operating margins of around 20 percent, excluding costs for stock-related compensation and acquisitions, matching the margins for 2000. The company will present its preliminary 2001 results on Jan. 23.

Shares in SAP were up over 5 percent at 155.50 euros in late morning trading on the Frankfurt stock exchange.

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