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SAP revenues nearly double

The German business software powerhouse reports record quarterly revenues of $615 million.

German business software powerhouse SAP has announced record revenues of $615 million, or 1.032 billion DM, for its fiscal first quarter ended March 31, nearly doubling sales over the same period one year ago.

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.