SAP CFO says confident on performance for rest of 2016

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 30, 2016 9:58 AM

By Harro Ten Wolde and Ilona Wissenbach

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - SAP, Europe's most highly valued technology company, is confident in its outlook both in the short and longer term and sees no obstacle to increasing its annual dividend, Luka Mucic, the company's chief financial officer, said on Wednesday.

Mucic told Reuters in an interview that he also planned to keep a tight rein on acquisitions in future years, in line with the very modest 100 million euros ($106 million) it spent in 2016 on small, technology-focused deals.

The company is banking on organic growth from its flagship S4/HANA system, the biggest revamp of its core business planning software in two decades, as it seeks to convert its blue-chip, corporate customer base to run their businesses in the cloud.

Mucic said that, based on business two-thirds of the way into its fourth quarter, he was confident in SAP's full-year guidance for 2016 operating profit, excluding special items, of between 6.5 to 6.7 billion euros, at constant currencies.

"With our third quarter reporting, we have raised our outlook. This is what we have done, as we are confident about the further course of business this year," Mucic said.

"Our goal is to increase our profit and dividend. We are confident that our 2016 profit will rise from last year. I don't see any obstacles for a dividend rise," he said.

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SAP paid 1.15 euros per share dividend for 2015 and has said it aims to continue its policy to pay 35 percent of profit after tax.

(This story corrects 2015 dividend to 1.15 euros from 1.35 in paragraph 7)

(Reporting by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Eric Auchard and Maria Sheahan)