Latin America outperforms SAP’s global results.
BY JOACHIM BAMRUD
Latin America revenues at Germany-based SAP, the world’s largest business software company, grew at a faster pace than the firm’s global results.
SAP’s software revenues in Latin America last year increased by 22 percent. That compares with 17 percent growth globally. Meanwhile, Latin American software and software-related service revenues grew 19 percent, which also compares favorably with SAP’s global growth of 13 percent.
The increase was due to strong growth in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Colombia, which helped offset flat growth in Brazil, according to Rodolpho Cardenuto, President and CEO of SAP Latin America. “We had a fantastic year in Mexico,” he tells Latin Business Chronicle.
Thanks to revenue growth of 74 percent, Mexico posted its best year ever, Cardenuto says.
However, also markets like Argentina, Chile, Peru and Colombia posted their best results ever, he adds. “Colombia had a fantastic last quarter,” he says. And revenues in Argentina jumped 146 percent.
Cardenuto expects similar growth in Latin America this year despite the global uncertainty and local challenges like inflation, unemployment and high interest rates.
“There’s an extraordinary competition among companies,” he says. “The companies have to continue investing in technology.” Firms are under pressure to improve quality, comply with local regulations and add mobility, Cardenuto points out.
“2012 will be more similar to 2011 than 2010,” he says. In 2010, SAP revenues grew 48 percent in Latin America.
Apart from challenges like rising inflation and interest rates, Cardenuto singles out human resources.“The challenge for us is talent acquisition,” he says.
While the United States and Europe have higher than average unemployment, the opposite holds true in Latin America.
Brazil, the region’s largest economy, especially stands out. “Brazil now has its lowest ever unemployment rate – 5 percent – which is practically a normal rate for turnover, so that’s almost full employment,” Cardenuto says.
Meanwhile, the quality of education lags the United States and Europe. “That’s the strongest challenge we face in Latin America today,” he says.
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