Germany's SAP met analysts' forecasts for sales of new software licences but missed expectations for earnings after a difficult first quarter in which it lost a top manager and faced a lawsuit from a rival.
The world's biggest maker of business software said on Friday licence sales, which hook customers into lucrative maintenance and service deals, rose 10% to 564 million euros ($767 million) in the three months to end-March. The average estimate in a Reuters poll of 24 analysts was 564 million euros.
Operating income rose 6% to 433 million euros, missing the Reuters poll average of 448 million as SAP started to invest the 300-400 million euros it plans to spend on developing new software for smaller companies.
SAP, whose software helps companies manage their finances, personnel and operations, said business grew strongly in both the United States, the world's biggest software market, and Europe. It stuck to its full-year targets.