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Software company SAP says Q4 sales up 12 pct

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FRANKFURT, GERMANY (AP) - Business software provider SAP AG says sales rose 12 percent in the fourth quarter thanks to strong results from Asia.

Revenues rose to (EURO)5.02 billion ($6.7 billion) from (EURO)4.50 billion in the same quarter a year earlier. Software revenue rose 22 percent in the Asia-Pacific-Japan region but only 8 percent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The company, based in Walldorf, Germany, said Tuesday operating earnings fell 5 percent to (EURO)1.59 billion. That result was diminished by expenses of (EURO)151 million related to acquisitions and by (EURO)185 million from new, share-based compensation programs boosted by a rise in the company's stock price during the year.

SAP makes software to help companies manage back-office functions such as personnel and paying suppliers.

It releases detailed earnings including net profit Jan. 23.

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