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SAP warns exchange rate could hit fourth quarter

Reuters with
SAP warns of FX effects on revenue
SAP warns of FX effects on revenue

German business software maker SAP stuck to its full-year outlook on Monday but warned its revenue and core operating profit could take a hit from volatile exchange rates.

SAP said it still expected 2013 operating profit, excluding special items to be in a range of 5.85-5.95 billion euros ($8.01-8.18 billion) at constant currencies.

The stock traded 4.5 percent higher in early trade.

But if exchange rates remain at the September level for the rest of the year, fourth-quarter and full-year software and software-related service revenue growth will take a negative hit of about 5 percentage points, it said.

"We have seen a number of effects from the US dollar, the Japanese yen," Jim Hagemann Snabe, the company's co-CEO, told CNBC.

It added its operating profit growth, excluding special items would see a negative impact of about 7 percentage points from currency effects.

The company, which competes with U.S.-based Oracle, reported a 5 percent gain in third-quarter operating profit, excluding special items, to 1.3 billion euros, fueled by its web-based software products.

That was broadly in line with average analysts expectations of 1.33 billion euros in a Reuters poll.

"Growth in China has been very, very strong in this quarter and in many ways China is the locomotive for Asia," Hagemann Snabe said. He added that the group continues to see opportunities to expand its profit margins.

The group's cloud computing business grew rapidly in the quarter. Cloud computing allows companies to access software on SAP's computers over the Internet rather than having it installed and maintained on-site.

"If you look at the quarter, we have a 162 percent growth in the cloud, which shows this trend towards the cloud," Hagemann Snabe added.

He also said SAP's HANA tool, which helps firms analyze large amounts of data, grew 90 percent. "Both of these businesses are becoming businesses of a billion euros (in) size."

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