SAP expects to meet profitability target

SAP AG, Europe's largest software company, expects 2002 full-year revenue to increase slightly compared to the previous year due in part to strong fourth-quarter license sales, the company said Thursday in a statement.

SAP expects 2002 fourth-quarter license sales to be around €950 million (US$997 million), the company said. Based on that figure, SAP anticipates its operating margin, excluding stock-based compensation and acquisition-related charges, to increase by 1 percentage point over the 20 percent achieved in 2001, the company said.

SAP will provide additional details on its 2002 preliminary results on Jan. 30, the company said.

"This is the fourth consecutive year that we have released figures ahead of our preliminary results," said SAP spokeswoman Laurie Doyle-Kelly. "We're doing so in the spirit of full disclosure."

One of the reasons for providing full-year figures ahead of the Jan. 30 news conference, Doyle-Kelly said, is that the group is holding a meeting with sales representatives this week and "would like to provide them with some financial figures."

In October, SAP withdrew its forecast of between 5 percent and 10 percent revenue growth for 2002 due to political and economic uncertainties.

Last January, the company reported total 2001 revenue of €7.34 billion, up 17 percent over the €6.27 billion the company reported for the previous year.

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