Sage pledges to retain TAS brand

TAS general manager Tommy Young this week told the company name and brand names will not be swallowed up by Sage ‘in the foreseeable future’, and that TAS was meeting with the Sage board to develop a strategy for upgrading its products including TAS Books versions one, two and three.

Young, said: ‘There have been concerns that the brand would disappear as has been the case with other Sage acquisitions. We are aware all products go through lifecycles, and are working towards upgrading our products, with releases likely to appear from the second quarter of next year.’

The announcement came as the Sage group revealed its full-year results which saw the accounting software giant ending the year on a high after revealing it had obtained 248,000 new customers over the last 12 months. It is aggressively looking for more.

Despite the economic slowdown, the company said it was in shape to continue growing next year and added it had also gained another three million customers following the £190m acquisition of US CRM company Interact.

Michael Jackson, Sage’s chairman, said: ‘Our businesses have continued to win significant numbers of new customers – nearly a quarter of a million – this year.

‘Throughout the group we continue to find new ways of selling more products and services to existing customers. As in the past, we will continue to grow our business both organically and through acquisition.

‘Notwithstanding the current economic climate, we believe that the strength of our brands, the breadth of our product offering, the resilience of our channel and the sheer scale of our customer base provide us with a platform for sustained long-term growth. Therefore we look forward to 2002 with confidence.’

For the year to 30 September 2001, turnover increased 17% to £484.1m, with a 12% rise in pre-tax profit to £121.3m.

The firm obtained 248,000 new customers but 68% of its global revenues came from its existing installed base of 2.8m customers around the world. The figures, not surprisingly, are not as impressive as last year when Sage showed a 46% rise in pre-tax profits and 20% growth in software sales.

The company has had to look on as Access Accounting converted three new resellers to its stable, including one of the largest.

Burnett Swayne, Espi and BetaGen all joined following a recent recruitment drive. One of the three, ESPI, is one of Sage’s biggest resellers and specialises in giving professional advice to businesses wishing to upgrade or purchase accounting software.

Burnett Swayne is a large independent reseller and practice in the South and BetaGen specialises in implementing and supporting financial software.Sean Matthews, Espi managing director, said: ‘We chose to become an Access Accounts reseller because the overall functionality of Access systems is second to none. The programs are fully scalable, from the single user FoundationsXP all the way up to the large SQL database capacity of Dimensions.’

Overall, however, with the expected introduction of Microsoft onto Sage’s domain next year, the Newcastle-based company appears to be in pretty good shape to tackle its rivals.


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