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SAP outshines the competition

Europe's largest software company, SAP, saw its income and profits rise in the first quarter of 2003, as its US rivals all issued profit warnings.

SAP's net income for the quarter was €186m (£128m) to 31 March. Excluding stock-based compensation, acquisition-related charges and impairment related charges, pro forma net income was €200m, an increase of 83%.

The rise in profits comes despite an 8% drop in sales from €1.7bn to €1.5bn. Currency fluctuations have affected the results, however, and when figures are taken at constant currency rates, sales rose 1%, SAP said

Operating profits rose 60% to €298m, compared with €186m for the same period last year. Excluding stock-based compensation, acquisition-related charges and impairment related charges, operating profit rose 28% to €304m compared with €238m last year.

US enterprise software companies have not been doing so well. Sybase, PeopleSoft  and Siebel Systems all warned earlier this month that first-quarter financial results would be lower than expected.


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