SAP Cautious on 2008 OutlookBy Reuters | Print
The German software maker has not ruled out more acquisitions, despite still integrating its Business Objects buy.
FRANKFURT (Reuters)—SAP forecast sales growth and higher margins on Wednesday despite a volatile wider economy but the software maker gave a conservative outlook for 2008 as it expands into new markets.
The world's biggest maker of business-management software said its operating profit margin should inch up to 27.5-28.0 percent this year from a comparable figure of 27.3 percent in 2007, excluding acquisition-related charges.
But the company said software-related sales growth would slow this year as it integrates a 4.8 billion-euro ($7.1 billion) acquisition and steps up investments in a new proposition for smaller customers.
SAP shares rose 1.6 percent at 31.94 euros by 1107 GMT, off an earlier high of 32.72 euros and outperforming a 0.3 percent weaker German blue-chip DAX index.
DZ Bank analyst Oliver Finger wrote in a note: "Stand alone guidance (12-14 percent) seems to be conservative, but given the difficult market environment we assess this as a positive."
SAP said it expects software and software-related services revenues to grow by 12-14 percent this year at constant currencies -- the same guidance it exceeded in 2007 with a 17 percent increase.
Including sales from recently acquired Business Objects and excluding acquisition-related revenue writedowns of about 180 million euros, these revenues should rise by 24-27 percent at constant currencies, SAP said.