SAP shares posted one of the biggest rises on the pan-European STOXX 600 index on Tuesday morning, following the announcement of better-than-expected growth in cloud sales in the first quarter.

Shortly before 10:00 a.m., the share price of Europe's leading software company climbed almost 4%, back towards its all-time highs, while the DAX gained 0.7% at the same time.

SAP last night reported strong growth in cloud sales and order intake for the first three months of the year.

Over the January-March period, cloud sales growth reached 25% at constant exchange rates, and order backlog growth 28%.

For analysts at Stifel, these "solid" performances are likely to reassure investors that the technology giant is on track for solid growth over the coming quarters, despite the difficult economic climate.

On the other hand, the group posted an operating loss of 0.8 billion euros under IFRS, due to a provision of 2.2 billion euros linked to its ongoing restructuring, which is set to affect 8,000 positions.

"It's true that profitability is a little 'tight' this quarter, but from a structural point of view everything seems to be on track", emphasized Barclays analysts.

SAP has also confirmed its forecasts, with annual cloud sales still expected to come in at between 17 and 17.3 billion euros, representing growth of between 24% and 27% at constant exchange rates.

Operating profit is expected to come in at between 7.6 and 7.9 billion euros this year on a non-IFRS basis, representing growth of between 17% and 21% at constant exchange rates.

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