Software AG accelerates growth in its Digital Business

Press release
Published May 16th, 2017 - 08:55 GMT
Software AG
Software AG

Software AG (Frankfurt TecDAX: SOW) today announced its financial figures (IFRS, preliminary) for the first quarter of 2017. An increasing number of large companies are relying on Software AG’s leading technology to drive their digital transformations. Additionally, the IoT and Industry 4.0 adoption boosted the performance of the company’s largest business line – the Digital Business Platform (DBP). With a license revenue jump of 18 percent and increased product revenues of 12 percent, Software AG strongly demonstrated its increasing relevance and digital leadership. Driven by a strong performance in North America, the global early adopter market, and propelled by new Industry 4.0 projects in Germany, DBP product revenue exceeded the €100 million benchmark for the first time in a first quarter. Reflecting the company’s growing success in the IoT market and extending its technology leadership, Software AG acquired the Industrial Internet specialist Cumulocity at the end of Q1. Cumulocity’s cloud-based platform integrates IT applications with physical devices (Operational Technology). Moreover, Software AG’s database business Adabas & Natural (A&N) grew by 8 percent in maintenance revenue demonstrating stability and a high degree of customer loyalty as seen in 2016. The Consulting business division also developed very positively and recorded revenue growth of 9 percent and a double-digit segment margin. This development underlines the successful transformation of the company into a strategic partner for major enterprises delivering high value digital consulting services. With an overall stable revenue performance, the Group continued to maintain its profitability at a very high level: the operating profit margin (EBITA, non-IFRS) was 27.3 percent, exceeding expectations. Based on these positive business developments in Q1 and the depth of the project pipeline for the rest of the year, Software AG fully confirms its outlook for the year 2017.

“The outstanding success of the Digital Business Platform in Q1 validates our strategic focus on profitable growth. We entered the year as we finished the previous one: with strong momentum. This positive trend is also evidence that enterprises recognize how important it is to invest in leading Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 technologies”, said Karl-Heinz Streibich, CEO of Software AG. “Digital transformation has become the maxim of all industries and, internationally, we are taking a pioneering role in driving digitalization through strategic co-innovation partnerships with world market leaders such as Bosch, Dürr, Dell, Huawei and others” continued Streibich.

“In the first quarter of 2017, we further expanded revenue in our growth segment while maintaining our operating profit margin at a consistently high level. Revenue growth and thus increase in profitability remain our declared priorities. We also successfully advanced the development of our leading portfolio through the strategic innovation-driven acquisition of Cumulocity in the first quarter. Therefore, we have established an excellent and strong starting position for the rest of the year and beyond,” commented CFO Arnd Zinnhardt.

Business area development

In the Digital Business Platform (DBP) segment, license revenues of €38.4 million (Q1 2016: €32.7 million) were generated in the first quarter, an increase of 18 percent compared to the previous year. Maintenance revenue rose to €67.2 million (Q1 2016: €61.9 million) in the same period, 9 percent higher than in the previous year. Accordingly, the DBP product revenue (licenses + maintenance) amounted to a total of €105.6 million (Q1 2016: €94.5 million) in the first quarter—an increase of 12 percent.

The Adabas & Natural (A&N) division improved its maintenance revenues to €40.1 million (Q1 2016: €37.0 million), an increase of 8 percent compared to the previous year. The positive development of maintenance revenues underscores the stability of the business and high level of loyalty of the A&N customer base. A further stabilizing factor was the company’s “Adabas & Natural 2050+” innovation program which provides support and digital innovations for customers beyond the year 2050. With this program, Software AG is contributing, in the long term, to protecting its customers' investments and actively modernizing their IT landscapes. Measured against the extraordinarily strong 2016 first quarter, A&N product sales declined to €47.9 million (Q1 2016: €63.4 million). The main reason was the license sales development which as expected was lower, reaching €7.8 million (Q1 2016: €26.4 million). While Q1 2016 performance was driven by extraordinarily early capacity expansions and contract renewals, Q1 2017 reflects a normal seasonal license revenue development. Therefore, the company remains confident in delivering its A&N total year revenue guidance.

Sales in the Consulting division rose to €52.3 million (Q1 2016: €48.0 million) in the first quarter, an improvement of 9 percent. The segment contribution margin increased to 10 percent (Q1 2016: 4 percent).

Total revenue and earnings development

In the quarter under review, Software AG recorded stable total turnover of €205.9 million (Q1 2016: €206.2 million). The Group's maintenance revenue developed very positively reaching €107.2 million (Q1 2016: €98.9 million), an increase of 8 percent. As a result of the expected weaker development in the A&N license business, the Group's license revenue of €46.3 million (Q1 2016: €59.1 million) was below the previous year's figure in the quarter under review. Accordingly, the company's product sales (licenses + maintenance) totaled €153.5 million (Q1 2016: €158.0 million) in the first quarter.

Due to €5.2 million higher investments of €92.3 million (Q1 2016: €87.1 million) in research and development as well as sales and marketing, the company's earnings before interest and taxes EBIT amounted to €41.5 million (Q1 2016: €45.3 million) in the first quarter. This corresponds to an EBIT margin of 20.2 percent (Q1 2016: 22.0 percent). The operating EBITA (non-IFRS) reached €56.3 (Q1 2016: €59.1 million). The operating profit margin (non-IFRS) of 27.3 percent (Q1 2016: 28.7 percent) continued to be on a very high level.

The net result reached €27.3 million (Q1 2016: €29.5 million), while earnings per share (non-IFRS) amounted to €0.49 (Q1 2016: €0.51).

The equity ratio was 61 percent (Q1 2016: 59 percent). The operating cash flow reached previous year’s record high and amounted to €61.7 million (Q1 2016: €61.9 million). Due to a one-time property investment in Q1, the free cash flow of €43.3 million (Q1 2016: €60.5 million) was below last year’s record level.


As of March 31, 2017, Software AG employed a total of 4,486 (Q1 2016: 4,299) employees (full-time equivalents), of which 1,891 (Q1 2016: 1,853) in consulting and service, 1,122 (Q1 2016: 1,011) in research and development, 863 (Q1 2016: 833) in Sales and Marketing as well as 610 (Q1 2016: 602) in Administration.

Outlook for 2017

Software AG confirms its forecast for fiscal year 2017 and expects a currency-adjusted increase in DBP sales of between 5 and 10 percent. In the A&N segment, the company expects a currency-adjusted decline of 2 to 6 percent compared to the previous year. The Group also expects a high operating profit margin (EBITA, non-IFRS) of 30.5 to 31.5 percent.

2017 Outlook






FY 2016
(in € millions)

FY 2017 Outlook
(as of January 26, 2017)

Q1 2017
(as of March 31, 2017)


Product Revenue
Digital Business Platform


+5% to +10%*



Product Revenue
Adabas & Natural


-2% to -6%*



Operating profit margin
(EBITA, non-IFRS)**


30.5% to 31.5%








*   At constant currency
** Before adjusting for non-operating factors (see non-IFRS results)

A conference call for financial analysts and media representatives will take place on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 9:30 am CEST (08:30 BST). For dial-up information, visit the company's website at

Key Figures

Key Figures as of March 31, 2017

in € millions (unless otherwise stated)

Q1 2017

Q1 2016

r as %

r as % acc*






DBP business line





thereof licences





thereof maintenance





A&N business line





Consulting business line





Operating EBITA (non-IFRS)





as % of revenue



-140 bp 


DBP segment earnings





Segment margin



+330 bp


A&N segment earnings





Segment margin



-570 bp


Net income (non-IFRS)





Earnings per share (non-IFRS)**





Operating cash flow










Free cash flow





Balance sheet

Mar. 31, 2017

Dec. 31, 2016



Total assets





Cash and cash equivalents





Net liquid assets / (net debt)





Employees (FTE)










*   acc = at constant currency
** Based on weighted average shares outstanding (basic) Q1 2017: 75.9m / Q1 2016: 76.2m
***      Cash flow from investing activities adjusted for acquisitions and investments in debt instruments

Background Information

Software AG

Software AG is the industry’s leading independent integration, Internet of Things, analytics, process software and services company. We are trusted by over 70% of the world’s top 1,000 enterprises. Software AG transforms your business and drives enterprise innovation by helping you connect and integrate everything—from applications and devices to data and clouds. We help you free data—even data in motion—from silos to “democratize” it and make it shareable across your organization—any time it is needed, anywhere and by anyone.

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