Global Business

SAP Being Boosted by Weak Euro

The software giant does hedge its foreign cash flows, but the euro's drop could still give 2015 sales and earnings a double-digit percentage boost.
Katie Kuehner-HebertMarch 20, 2015
SAP Being Boosted by Weak Euro

While the dollar’s strengthening against the euro is slamming U.S.-based companies, some European firms are seeing a big benefit in their financials.

SAP became the latest German exporter to disclose that its sales and earnings are getting help from the euro’s slide against the strong U.S. dollar.

“While our full-year 2015 business outlook is at constant currencies, actual currency reported figures are expected to continue to be impacted by currency exchange rate fluctuations,” the company said in its annual report.

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If exchange rates remain at the March 6 market closing rates for the rest of the year, SAP expects its non-IFRS cloud subscriptions and software license revenue growth will experience a currency exchange boost of roughly 11 percentage points. Non-IFRS operating profit growth will get a currency exchange benefit of roughly 14 percentage points, SAP projects.

This is despite the fact that SAP uses cash-flow hedges to hedge FX risk for “foreign currency-denominated receivables, payables, and other monetary items.”

A Bloomberg story on Friday said SAP wasn’t alone: German companies Siemens and Deutsche Post are also disclosing higher sales revenues on exports due to the sliding euro.

This “shows how the euro’s plunge to the lowest level in more than a decade is lifting revenue at European exporters,” Bloomberg wrote.

In contrast, Oracle, SAP’s competitor in the United States, recently disclosed that revenue for its latest quarter would have been up 6% without the strong dollar.

SAP said it expects full-year 2015 non-IFRS cloud and software revenue to increase by 8-10% at constant currencies. Full-year 2015 non-IFRS operating profit is expected to be in a range of €5.6 billion to €5.9 billion at constant currencies, which is a range of flat to a 5% increase.

On Thursday, SAP announced that it plans to ask shareholders to approve a 10% increase in its dividend to €1.10 a share. If granted, the total amount of dividends to be distributed would be roughly €1.3 billion, representing a pay-out ratio of 40%.

In its annual SAP said its cash-flow hedges consist primarily of foreign exchange forward contracts, and are mostly used to hedge cash flows coming from the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Switzerland, Brazil, and Australia.

in 2014, SAP had net losses totaling €30 million resulting from its derivatives hedging activities. In 2012 and 2013 it had net gains.

For 2014, SAP had an average exposure to foreign currencies of €2.7 billion, compared with €1 billion in 2013. But SAP said the higher exposure number from last year was mainly due to hedging transactions entered into for the acquisition of Concur.

SAP’s 2014 non-IFRS revenue was €17.6 billion.