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Jan. 27, 2010, 8:47 a.m. EST

SAP Sees Return to Growth

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By Archibald Preuschat

FRANKFURT—Business-software company SAP /zigman2/quotes/203458330/delayed DE:SAP -0.31% AG said Wednesday it expects to return to growth in 2010, after a year of decline, including a 13% fall in fourth-quarter net profit.

The Walldorf, Germany-based company forecast a 4% to 8% rise in its software and software-related service revenue—a closely watched indicator—from the €8.2 billion posted in 2009.

SAP, which competes with Microsoft /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT -0.51% Corp. and Oracle /zigman2/quotes/202180826/composite ORCL -1.47% Corp., also wants to improve its operating margin to a range between 30% and 31% from 27.4% in 2009.

"Along with margin expansion for 2010, we are also ready to return to top-line growth, although the market continues to be challenging, and uncertainty among customers still exists," said Chief Executive Leo Apotheker .

SAP was hard hit by the economic downturn, as many of its customers scaled down investment in information technology.

Net profit in the three months to Dec. 31 fell to €726 million from €830 million a year earlier. Revenue, as reported earlier this month, eased 9% to €3.19 billion from €3.49 billion, as software revenue declined 15% to €1.12 billion from €1.32 billion. Software and software-related service revenue fell around 4% to €2.57 billion from €2.67 billion.

SAP changed its accounting rules from U.S. generally accepted accounting principles to international financial reporting standards in 2010, and guides on a non-IFRS basis on constant currencies.

Write to Archibald Preuschat at archibald.preuschat@dowjones.com

/zigman2/quotes/203458330/delayed
DE : Germany: Frankfurt
116.24
-0.36 -0.31%
Volume: 1,799
Oct. 17, 2019 8:58p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
€256,047
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/zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 139.69
-0.72 -0.51%
Volume: 22.10M
Oct. 17, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
27.55
Dividend Yield
1.46%
Market Cap
$1072.09 billion
Rev. per Employee
$902,473
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/zigman2/quotes/202180826/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 55.06
-0.82 -1.47%
Volume: 9.97M
Oct. 17, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
17.95
Dividend Yield
1.74%
Market Cap
$183.43 billion
Rev. per Employee
$289,197
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