SAP first-quarter results fall short as US license sales slow

Europe's largest software company, SAP, warned late on Friday that first-quarter results would be weaker than expected due to slower sales of software licenses to corporate customers in the United States, its biggest market.

Software license revenues fell 13% while the company's newer, but lower-margin cloud software business grew 33%. Business customers are shifting to cloud-based software delivered over the Internet instead of relying on older software packages they install and run on in-house computers.

First-quarter operating profit, excluding special items, rose 5% to 1.10 billion euros ($1.25 billion).

Analysts, on average, had been looking for a first-quarter operating profit, excluding special items, of 1.15 billion euros, with 12 estimates ranging from 1.09 billion to 1.25 billion euros, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.

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