SAP Q3 growth slows on cloud, licenses dip

Key Points
  • Q3 revenue 5.59 billion euros, misses consensus for 5.71 billion
  • Q3 core profit 1.64 billion euros, just below forecasts
  • Raises midpoint of 2017 revenue, profit guidance
Expect more consolidation in cloud industry, says SAP CEO
Expect more consolidation in cloud industry, says SAP CEO

SAP, Europe's most valuable technology company, reported that third-quarter revenue growth slowed after a strong first half and profits came up just short of analysts' expectations.

Core profit excluding special items rose by 4 percent to 1.64 billion euros ($1.94 billion) at constant currency rates, SAP said, below the 1.69 billion euros expected by analysts in a Reuters poll.

Nonetheless, SAP said it was confident it could meet or beat its financial targets for the full year, as it modestly raised the midpoint of its outlook for 2017 revenue and core profits.

Revenue for the German business planning software provider grew 8 percent to 5.59 billion euros from a year earlier, falling short of the mean forecast of 5.71 billion euros from 16 analysts surveyed by Reuters.

Kevin Winter | Getty Images

SAP had posted double-digit revenue growth in the first two quarters of 2017.

Cloud subscriptions and support revenue rose 27 percent in the third quarter to 938 million euros, excluding currency effects, compared with the 29 percent analysts had expected, on average.

All growth in cloud is organic unlike rivals: SAP CEO
All growth in cloud is organic unlike rivals: SAP CEO

Its classic software license and support business revenue rose 4 percent to 3.72 billion euros, with to a growth rate of 2.2 percent expected by analysts.

SAP Chief Executive Bill McDermott was bullish for the fourth quarter, telling journalists that cloud bookings were up around 35 percent year-on-year during the current period.

"We are gaining share against our competitors. SAP is growing faster in the cloud - and we are doing it organically," McDermott said during a conference call, contrasting the acquisition-fuelled growth of rivals.