Sage revenue grows while SMEs worry

SAGE Group, the enterprise software giant, yesterday reported organic revenue growth of four per cent for the year to 30 September despite the adverse economic conditions hitting many of its clients.

Revenue, which stood at £1.28bn last year, rose four per cent to £1.33bn this year, including a three per cent growth in software and software-related service revenues and a five per cent increase in subscription revenues.

The Newcastle-based company reported a strong operating cash flow of £405.1m, up 2.6 per cent from last year’s £394.5m.

The firm increased its dividends for the year by 25 per cent to 9.75p per share.

Sage Group gained 261,000 paying customers during the year and boasted a subscription contract renewal rate of 81 per cent.

The sale of Sage Healthcare for $245m (£156m) and several new product releases also boosted revenues, the firm said.

Guy Berruyer, the group’s chief executive, acknowledged the concern shown by many of Sage’s customers towards to the effect of macro-economic conditions on SMEs, which make up a large portion of its customer base, particularly in the Eurozone.

But he added: “The strengths of our business position us well to deal with the ups and downs of the economic cycle.

“Given the current economic uncertainty, we will continue to manage the business prudently, whilst pursuing the significant longer term opportunities we have in our markets.”

He also said that acquisitions are still a priority, following the firm’s failed bid for MYOB during the summer.

Shares closed up 5.5 per cent at 290.10p yesterday.