Sage returns all regions to sales growth

Steve Dinneen
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SAGE has returned all of its regions to organic growth for the first time since 2007, with Africa, Australia, the Middle East and Asia reporting a blistering sales increase of 13 per cent in the first-half.

The Newcastle-based firm, which provides software to more than 6m small and medium sized businesses, posted a five per cent rise in pre-tax profit to £167m on three per cent higher revenue of £743m.

Shares in Sage rose in morning trading before closing marginally down at 286.4p.

Sage’s core customers were hit by the downturn later than large enterprises but it has been slower to bounce back, with the US lagging other regions.

However, it said it had seen signs of optimism in its US customer base, helping drive organic revenue one per cent higher, against a five per cent contraction a year ago.

Europe, its largest region, delivered growth of five per cent.

Berruyer, who took over as chief executive in October, said business confidence among SMEs has improved, although it varies by geography, and the outlook remaines uncertain.

He said: “We are pleased to have delivered good new growth... and we look forward to growth in the second half of the year.”

He also stressed the firm’s commitment to its Newcastle headquarters.