Europe’s largest software manufacturer SAP ended a difficult year with a decent final quarter. Earnings before interest and taxes adjusted for special effects were between October and the end of December at 2.77 billion euros, around 3 percent below the previous year’s value, as SAP surprisingly announced on Thursday in Walldorf based on preliminary figures. However, that was significantly better than analysts estimated, because license sales in particular did not fall as sharply in the fourth quarter as feared in the Corona crisis. Overall sales fell by 6 percent to 7.54 billion euros. SAP plans to present the complete financial report on January 29th.
Outlook with moderate goals
However, SAP already provides the outlook for the current year. The management around CEO Christian Klein had already warned in October of the consequences of the pandemic, which should weigh on demand until at least half of the year. SAP now expects profits from the sale of software subscriptions and licenses to stagnate in 2020 or to increase by a maximum of 2 percent after adjusting for currency effects. Among them, however, SAP believes the rapidly growing software for use over the Internet will grow by 13 to 18 percent. The management is planning the adjusted operating profit at 7.8 to 8.2 billion euros – that would be a decrease of between one and 6 percent.