SAP says cloud computing boosts business in preliminary 2015 report

German software maker SAP said cloud computing yielded strong returns for 2015 and promised a bright future as the company released a preliminary take on its 2015 finances on Tuesday.

New cloud bookings - which the company bills as "the key measure for SAP's sales success" in the area - grew by 103 per cent for the full year.

"We decisively beat our full-year guidance for cloud and software revenue," said Bill McDermott, the company's chief executive. "SAP gained significant share against core and best-of-breed competitors."

He added that the figures give "us tremendous confidence in our business in 2016 and beyond."

Cloud computing is the practice under which companies rent out services and access to software online, as opposed to the old business model of customers buying packages of software stored on actual discs they kept in their home or office.

Overall, the company saw an 18-per-cent jump in revenues for 2015, for a gross of 20.8 billion euros (22.6 billion dollars). However, earnings before interest and taxes fell by 2 per cent to 4.25 billion euros.

The company said the drop could be attributed to the fact that margins have tightened as it shifts its focus to its cloud offerings, making that the company's prime business. It said it expected 2016 profits to come in at between 6.4 billion and 6.7 billion euros, depending upon accounting methods used.

The company cautioned that the figures are preliminary. An official release of the company's annual data is set for January 22.

Last update: Tue, 12/01/2016 - 12:47

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