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SAP shares dive on warning

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SAP saw its shares take a dive today, when it warned that poor sales in Japan meant that it was likely to miss targets for the year.

Shares were down over seven per cent in early trading.

The company said revenues for the third quarter ended 30 September 2009 were €2.51bn, down nine per cent on the same three months of last year. Despite this, operating income was €606m, a decline of only one per cent. But the markets were expecting sales of €2.6bn.

Werner Brandt, chief executive of SAP, said he was pleased to see continued improvements in margins despite falling sales, but the markets were less sympathetic. Brandt said that although the market remained difficult, he was seeing signs of stabilisation.

He said sales had been hit in Japan and emerging markets, but increases in multi-year agreements and "further progress in the evolution of our volume business as a result of smaller deals" were both good news.

Operating margin for the quarter was 24.2 per cent, compared to 22.2 per cent in the third quarter of 2008. ®

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