SAP warns of lower 1999 revenues

SAP yesterday warned that its promised 20 per cent to 25 per cent revenue increase would probably not materialise this fiscal year.

In a brief statement, the German software vendor said it would not achieve its revenue projections for the 1999 fiscal year ending in December, nor would it reach its goal of increasing pretax profits by 1 per cent.

SAP revised its revenue forecast, predicting that it would increase revenues by between 15 per cent and 20 per cent over the previous fiscal year.

SAP's third quarter revenues increased 7 per cent, the company also said, but did not give further details. More information will be forthcoming at a press conference on Monday. Company officials could not be immediately reached.

SAP and other vendors of ERP software have been struggling this year to win new customers for their products. In an interview following SAP's disappointing second quarter, SAP co-chairman Henning Kagermann said that new customers in particular had declined to buy SAP products because they felt the company lacked an Internet strategy.

In a question and answer session with Oracle chairman and chief executive officer Larry Ellison at Telecom 99 this week, Ellison said ERP vendors like SAP and PeopleSoft are suffering due to their late realisation of the importance of the internet.

SAP has been aiming to prove this year that it does get the 'Net, however. Its strategy includes setting up an employee information portal, as well as a set of online trading communities and information sites.

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