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SAP merges its Americas units

Software maker says last year's revenues grew 13 percent and combining its subsidiaries will help generate additional growth.

SAP is combining its North American subsidiary with its unit in Latin America to boost growth in the regions, the German software company said Tuesday.

The reorganization elevates Bill McDermott, who has been chief of SAP North America, the company's fastest-growing unit. McDermott will lead the new SAP Americas unit, the company's second-largest, which generated more than $3 billion in combined revenue in 2004.

SAP has also hired former BearingPoint CEO Rand Blazer to lead U.S. public-sector sales. Blazer replaces Steve Peck, who remains with SAP as head of alliances for the new Americas unit. The company made a number of other appointments, including a new managing director of SAP Latin America and a new senior vice president in charge of Project Mendocino, a joint development effort with Microsoft.

The company also announced that it expects 2005 global revenues to total $10.3 billion, a 13 percent hike over the previous year. Fourth quarter revenue is expected to grow by 15 percent, reaching $3.3 billion.

Software revenue last year exceeded previous estimates, growing 18 percent to $3.4 billion. Earnings per share will stay within the company's previous forecast of $5.85 to $5.97 per share, SAP said.

SAP said it plans to provide more 2005 financial details on Jan. 25.