SAP lines up best ever quarter

Software giant SAP has booked its strongest ever full-year and fourth quarter results in its 40-year history. In its preliminary results - full financials will drop on 25 January - SAP said it saw sales grow 14% to €14.23bn (£11.8bn)while operating profit climbed88% to €4.88bn. Software revenu

Software giant SAP has booked its strongest ever full-year and fourth quarter results in its 40-year history.

In its preliminary results - full financials will drop on 25 January - SAP said it saw sales grow 14% to €14.23bn (£11.8bn) while operating profit climbed 88% to €4.88bn. Software revenues grew 22% for the period and software-related services sales increased by 16%.

Meanwhile, in the final quarter of 2011, SAP posted revenue growth of 11% to €4.5bn and profit growth of 206% to €1.7bn.

The strong performance was driven chiefly by growth in core applications business, while its analytics and mobile solutions business saw strong momentum and accelerated growth for SAP's in-memory HANA technology.

"In an uncertain environment, SAP delivered the best year in its 40-year history. We gained significant market share and achieved double-digit growth across all regions," said Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe, co-CEOs of SAP.

CFO Werner Brandt pointed to a solid performance on both the top and bottom line, and said SAP successfully expanded its operating margins while continuing to invest in go-to-market activities.

In a statement this morning, TechMarketView analyst Angela Eagle said: "Performance has been strong across the board both in terms of regions and the product portfolio, but what is particularly significant is that its new technology initiatives are accelerating and delivering revenue."

SAP's strong end to 2011 stands in contrast to its nemesis, Oracle, which posted sales growth of just 2% for its second quarter results in December, way below expectations.

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