The German business software powerhouse reports record quarterly revenues of $615 million.
The company also said pretax profits were up 54 percent to $107.9 million, or 181 million DM, during the quarter, compared with 117 million DM one year ago.
SAP added that it signed several new customers for its R/3 application system in the quarter and increased license sales to existing customers, which helped to fuel the quarterly growth. The company said new customers signed contracts to install R/3 in the United States, South Africa, India, and France. Revenues were also up due to a favorable exchange rate, according to the company.
Expenses grew at a slightly slower pace to reach $528 million, a 48 percent increase over the first quarter of 1996.
SAP's Americas operation grew fastest during the quarter, expanding by 91 percent to contribute $265.8 million to the company's coffers. The Asia-Pacific region followed with 68 percent growth in sales of $63.8 million.
SAP's home market in Europe maintained its position as the company's largest sales arena overall. European sales amounted to $288.2 million for the quarter, a 18 percent increase.
SAP's chairman Dietmar Hopp said in a statement that he expects the company to meet or surpass its target of 30 percent growth in sales this year.
The first quarter results follow a strong fiscal 1996, ended December 31, when SAP reported revenue growth of 38 percent, or $2.39 billion in sales.
One of SAP's main competitors, PeopleSoft, is also expected to announce earnings today. The company is expected to post a gain of 12 cents per share, according to a FirstCall consensus estimate.