(new: share price, experts and more details and background)

FRANKFURT (dpa-AFX) - Investors were almost euphoric on Thursday after SAP's annual customer fair. As the biggest winner in the leading Dax index, the heavyweight's shares rose by 5 percent to a good 180 euros. They were only around two and a half percent short of another record. The previous high of 184.48 euros dates back to the end of March.

Europe's largest software manufacturer has dampened investor concerns about the current slump in the industry. In a Q&A session with analysts at the Sapphire customer trade fair in Orlando (Florida) on Wednesday evening, head of sales Scott Russell admitted that there is currently a somewhat weaker environment in some areas. Despite this isolated weakness, however, customers' spending budgets for IT continued to rise, he added. CFO Dominik Asam added that business with core products is currently fairly stable.

For expert Charles Brennan from the investment bank Jefferies, SAP looks like a "safe haven" in an uncertain economic situation and software industry with the announced growth acceleration and margin expansion until 2027. In its view, the shares should make up for lost ground. Last week, the SAP share price fell to a multi-week low.

SAP intends to accelerate its revenue growth after 2025 until 2027, wrote analyst Nay Soe Naing from Berenberg Bank. With this encouraging outlook, the software developer has exceeded medium-term market expectations. In the longer term, SAP is relying primarily on the cloud business for growth, to which more customers are likely to switch. However, SAP also wants to earn more money with offerings related to artificial intelligence, according to the expert.

Since the beginning of the year, SAP shares have gained almost 30 percent. Only the shares of Siemens Energy, Rheinmetall and Commerzbank have been even stronger in the DAX this year.

With a market capitalization of around 220 billion euros, SAP is by far the most valuable DAX company. The share has a correspondingly high weighting in the index, so price gains also help the Dax. On Thursday morning, it was only a good half a percent short of a record high./bek/men/jha/