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SAP AG : Software Maker SAP Confirms Forecast For Growth

03/23/2012 | 07:06am US/Eastern

German enterprise software company SAP AG (SAP) Friday confirmed its full-year guidance and said it expects share-based compensation expenses to rise significantly in 2012.

Software and related service revenue--a key figure that includes new licenses and maintenance--is forecast to rise between 10% and 12% this year, SAP said in its 2011 annual report. Operating profit is expected to be between EUR5.05 billion and EUR5.25 billion, up from EUR4.71 billion in 2011.

The guidance is based non-IFRS numbers, which include some revenue that isn't recognized under International Financial Reporting Standards and exclude certain costs and gains. The forecast is also adjusted for currency swings.

Total compensation for Co-Chief Executive Bill McDermott, who is based in the U.S., rose to EUR6.57 million in 2011 from EUR4.42 million a year earlier, while Co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe received EUR5.48 million, up from EUR3.86 million, according SAP's annual report. The gains were driven by a rise in performance-related pay after the company beat its own guidance last year.

SAP also said it anticipates share-based compensation expenses to surge to between EUR460 million and EUR500 million this year from EUR69 million in 2011 as it has started new long-term incentive plans for all employees and also expanded an existing share matching plan.

The plans are intended "to reward participants for their contribution in achieving the company's ambitious 2015 goals," it said in a separate statement. The related expenses are excluded from SAP's 2012 profit guidance.

SAP, based in Walldorf in southwestern Germany, is targeting total annual revenue of more than EUR20 billion by 2015, up from about EUR14 billion last year, helped by new offerings including cloud services, mobile solutions and its super-fast HANA in-memory database technology. The 2015 margin target stands at 35%.

-By Philipp Grontzki, Dow Jones Newswires, +49 69 29 725 107, philipp.grontzki@dowjones.com

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