German software giant SAP has ridden out the Asian economic crisis to post solid financial results for the first half of 1998.
While the company admitted the Asian situation had "had a larger than anticipated impact" on its second quarter, it said this had been more than offset by strong sales in other regions.
Overall, sales rose 61 per cent in the first half of the year, from DM2.4 billion to DM3.9 billion. Second quarter revenues rose from 1.4 billion marks to 2.2 billion, an increase of 59 per cent.
Sales in Asia fell slightly, down five per cent to DM197 million in the quarter, from DM208 million last year. SAP said sales would have risen 14 per cent, had currency rates remained unchanged.
Last week, one of SAP's rivals, Baan, was forced to issue a revised profit statement for the first quarter of 1998, bringing its profits down from $2.4 million to $2.1million.
While Baan balmed the measures purely on accounting matters, it is further bad news for the Dutch software company, which has struggled to come to terms with changes in accounting laws, forcing it to defer revenues.
"When you look at the two companies, SAP is very clearly on top of things, while Baan has not been able to provide a very professional approach to revenue reporting," said Laurent Lachal, analyst for IT consultancy Ovum. "Image wise, this is a disaster for Baan."
Lachal said Baan's problems stem from the company's complex structure. "Baan executives themselves find it difficult to keep up with the company's structure, which doesn't provide a good image for the company."
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