Sage tops FTSE 100 risers after positive update

 
Oliver Smith
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FINANCIAL software maker Sage leapt to the top of the FTSE 100 risers yesterday after the company reported profits up one per cent to £360.5m before exceptional charges.

Sage also raised its dividend by six per cent to 11.32p a share in its results for the year ending 30 September.

“These results highlight the strong appeal of our offering to small and medium enterprises, great execution in delivering on our plans and the benefit of a clear strategy, which focuses on our most significant growth opportunities,” said chief executive Guy Berruyer.

The company reported revenue growth of four per cent to £1.26bn during the period.

“The strategy is working and growth is accelerating. We remain confident of achieving our target of six per cent organic revenue growth in 2015, and anticipate further progress during the year ahead,” added Berruyer.

Some analysts remained sceptical on Sage’s ability to reach this goal. Investec analyst Julian Yates retained his sell rating on the stock with a target price of 300p.

“We remain cautious on whether this will be achieved, based on the historic growth profile and expect the additional investment (which is needed and sensible in our view) to continue to cramp margins,” said Yates.

Sage’s share price rose 7.3 per cent to 372.9p in trading yesterday.