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German company lifts profit, outlook on cloud-computing growth
Software Giant SAP-Business-software maker SAP SE SAP -0.15% raised its earnings outlook as strong growth in cloud-based software drove a 22% increase in fourth-quarter profit, beating analysts’ estimates.
The Walldorf, Germany-based company reported its first results under its new leadership, after longtime Chief Executive Bill McDermott departed and Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein were appointed co-CEOs in October.
The solid results cap a tumultuous year for one of Europe’s most valuable technology companies, as it shifts customers away from on-site business software toward cloud-based solutions.
Facing stiff competition from Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Microsoft Corp. and others, SAP launched a restructuring effort a year ago, shedding 4,400 jobs and costing an estimated €800 million to €950 million ($882 million to $1.05 billion).
SAP on Tuesday said net profit rose to €2.18 billion in the three months to Dec. 31 from €1.79 billion a year earlier.
Encouraged by a 32% increase in cloud revenue in the fourth quarter, SAP lifted its sales outlook for 2020 around 2% to as much as €29.7 billion. It also raised its profit target to up to €9.3 billion from a previous estimate of €9.1 billion.
New cloud bookings rose 17% in the quarter, as cloud revenue rose to €1.9 billion from €1.4 billion a year earlier. However, that business still trailed traditional software licenses and support, which generated €4.95 billion, up 1%.
“We have great expectations for continued efficiency gains and expansion of our profitability in 2020,” said Chief Financial Officer Luka Mucic on a conference call.