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Q4 SAP licence sales to exceed €1bn

German software maker SAP has announced that better-than-expected fourth quarter software sales should enable it to beat its...

German software maker SAP has announced that better-than-expected fourth quarter software sales should enable it to beat its full-year 2001 revenue forecast.

Software licence sales in the fourth quarter should come in at more than €1bn (£617m), SAP said. Analysts had forecasted average licence sales of €790m for the quarter, an SAP spokesman said.

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

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

Shares in SAP rose by over 5% at €155.5 (£95) in late morning trading on the Frankfurt stock exchange.

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