German software giant SAP said on Friday it would pay a substantially increased dividend to shareholders for 2011, its 40th anniversary year, which was its best-ever in terms of profits.
SAP said in a statement it would pay shareholders a dividend of 1.10 euros ($1.47) per share for last year, compared with 0.60 euros a year earlier.
The payout included a special dividend of 0.35 euros per share to celebrate SAP's 40th anniversary, the group said.
"We believe SAP's best year ever should also be our shareholders' best year ever," said co-chief executives, Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe.
"The proposed dividend will allow our shareholders to participate in our success."
Last month, SAP said that software and software-related service revenues grew by 16 percent to 11.318 billion euros in 2011, operating profit was up 88 percent at 4.879 billion euros and after-tax profits soared by 90 percent to 3.441 billion euros.
On the basis of that performance, it is projecting a sharp rise in sales and earnings in 2012 as well.
Investors welcomed the sharply higher dividend and SAP shares were among the top gainers on the Frankfurt stock exchange on Friday, adding 1.82 percent to 50.47 euros.
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