Cloud Computing, HANA Database Sales Boost SAP's Q4 Revenue


Reaping the benefits of its initiatives in cloud computing, mobile technology and its HANA in-memory database, software giant SAP Wednesday reported double-digit growth for its fourth-quarter and fiscal 2012 sales.

SAP also is undergoing a reorganization and centralization of its sales operations, putting both channel sales and regional direct sales under Rob Enslin, president of global operations.

SAP reported total revenue of 5.0 billion Euros (U.S. $6.7 billion) for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, up 12 percent from 4.5 billion Euros (U.S. $6.0 billion) in the same period one year earlier. After-tax profits, however dropped 8 percent to 1.1 billion Euros (U.S. $1.5 billion) from 1.2 billion Euros (U.S. $1.6 billion) one year earlier.

[Related: Thanks For The In-Memory: SAP Gives Flagship Applications A Performance Boost]

Total revenue for all of 2012 was 16.2 billion Euros (U.S. $21.6 billion), up 14 percent from 14.2 billion Euros (U.S. $18.9 billion) in 2011. After-tax profits dropped 18 percent to 2.8 billion Euros (U.S. $3.8 billion) from 3.4 billion Euros (U.S. $4.6 billion) in 2011.

Company executives said the results mean SAP remains on track for its long-term goal of reaching annual sales of 20 billion Euros and 1 billion users worldwide by 2015.

SAP said its operating profit and operating margins were impacted by its "continued investments in its global go-to-market activities and its cloud business." The company's employee headcount, for example, grew 16 percent in 2012 to 64,422.

Revenue from cloud subscriptions and support in the fourth quarter reached 126 million Euros (U.S. $167 million), up from just 6 million Euros one year earlier, and 270 million Euros (U.S. $359 million) for all of 2012.

SAP jumped into the cloud arena in a big way last year, acquiring SuccessFactors for $3.4 billion and Ariba for $4.3 billion.

The vendor said its annual cloud revenue run rate is approaching 850 million Euros (U.S. $1.1 billion). SuccessFactors' new and upsell subscription billings alone grew 95 percent in 2012, according to SAP.

HANA, the vendor's in-memory computing database that's a critical element of SAP's technology strategy, contributed 392 million Euros (U.S. $521 million) to the company's top line in 2012. HANA sales in the fourth quarter alone were nearly 200 million Euros (U.S. $266 million).

Mobile computing software and services contributed 222 million Euros (U.S. $295 million) in sales.

"SAP's sales traction in CY12 demonstrates the success with which SAP has built credible businesses that support and surround its ERP installed base," said Technology Business Research analyst Elizabeth Hedstrom Henlin in a commentary on SAP's results. "Acquisitions in leading-edge areas of customer interest -- cloud, mobility, application development -- as well as internal development around projects including in-memory (SAP HANA) have tightly tied SAP's brand to innovation."

PUBLISHED JAN. 23, 2013