BERLIN Oct 14 SAP (SAPG.DE) was unable to
assess to what extent the financial crisis would affect its
business because the turmoil was unprecedented, Co-Chief
Executive Officer Leo Apotheker said on Tuesday.
"We do not know how long the crisis will last and how hard
it will hit our industry," he said at a conference in Berlin.
"This was unforeseeable. It surprised us all," he said.
But he said SAP's business model had remained solid and
SAP -- the world's biggest maker of software that
medium-sized and large companies use to run their businesses --
said on Oct. 6 that its sales abruptly dropped off in the last
two weeks of September as companies cut spending on business
The news prompted SAP shares to plunge, but they have since
recouped some of their losses. The stock was up 5.3 percent at
28.94 euros by 1136 GMT, having advanced 9.2 percent over the
"We have seen a complete overreaction in the stock market,"
Apotheker said of the initial drop.
In response to the sales decline, SAP has stopped hiring and
has imposed travel restrictions on staff, which Apotheker said
was a precautionary measure. SAP was also in talks with its
works council to shut down its business for the week between
Christmas and New Year, he said.
But Apotheker said these steps had not had an impact on
investments earmarked for projects in countries including
(Reporting by Markus Wacket, writing by Ludwig Burger; Editing
by Paul Bolding)