GÖPPINGEN (dpa-AFX) - The software provider Teamviewer earned less than experts expected in the first quarter due to higher sales and marketing costs. Sales increased for the remote maintenance specialist, once again significantly in the important key account business, as the MDax company announced in Goppingen on Tuesday. Teamviewer was able to report a record number of smaller contract customers. However, new business remains sluggish due to the economic environment. Profitability, which also came under pressure due to currency effects, was also disappointing. The share fell significantly.

The share fell by up to a good ten percent after the start of trading. Most recently, the share price was still down 5.9 percent at 11.74 euros. For analyst Toby Ogg from the US bank JPMorgan, the operating result was somewhat lower than the market had expected. However, investors are likely to focus on the development of billings. Goldman Sachs expert Mohammed Moawalla believed that sales and earnings were in line with expectations overall. However, he also referred to weaker billings.

"The environment remains difficult due to the economic situation, and many customers are taking longer to make decisions," said Teamviewer CEO Oliver Steil in an interview with the financial news agency dpa-AFX. "Customers are currently driving on sight." The Group's billings fell by one percent year-on-year in the first three months. Teamviewer usually receives an advance payment from customers at the beginning of a contract period, while revenue is booked gradually over the respective periods.

Revenue increased by seven percent to 161.7 million euros. Business with large contract customers (Enterprise segment), which benefited from business acquired in the previous year, performed particularly well. "We had many multi-year deals in the Enterprise segment in the first quarter of last year, which had a positive impact on billings due to the advance payments," explained Steil. "We are currently seeing less of this due to the more difficult environment."

Adjusted for special items, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose by two percent year-on-year to 65.2 million euros in the first quarter. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had on average expected a higher operating profit.

As announced, Teamviewer had already brought forward investments in marketing and sales in the first three months. However, the reduced scope of the sponsorship agreement with English soccer club Manchester United is only likely to have a positive impact on the operating result in the second half of the year.

At 40%, the operating profit margin in the first quarter was around two percentage points below the previous year's figure. "We are very satisfied with the 40 percent operating margin in the first quarter and are right on target," said the manager. "If you exclude the negative currency effects, our start to the year is also in line with expectations." For the year as a whole, Steil is still aiming for an operating margin of at least 43 percent with sales of between 660 and 685 million euros.

Net profit fell by three percent to 22.3 million euros. In addition to increased costs, losses from investments also had a negative impact. "As part of strategic product partnerships, we have invested in innovative technology start-ups that are still operating at a loss, as expected," said Steil./men/lew/mis