Enterprise software giant SAP posted a 17% increase in its annual operating profit helped by strong sales in the US. But sales in Europe were flat.
Annual sales for 2004 were £5.2bn, up 7% on 2003. These produced an operating profit of £1.38bn.
Software sales jumped 27% in the US to £434m, with some analysts reporting that SAP had benefited from the uncertainty among US business software customers as Oracle moved to acquire PeopleSoft.
European software sales were only 4% up for the year at £897m, but there was no increase in sales during the fourth quarter.
SAP predicted that overall group sales would rise between 10% and 12% in 2005. It also announced it planned to hire 3,000 more staff to handle the increased activity.