Sage customer base grows

FTSE 100 COMPANY Sage has managed to increase its customer base in the UK during the last year, its unaudited results show.

Pre-tax profit at the financial software company grew to £319.9m from £267.4m compared to the previous year. However, revenues dropped slightly to £1,435m (down 4%) for the year ending 30 September 2010, compared to £1,439.9m. The business saw its revenues contract in 2009 compared with 2008 figures.

Sage managed to increase its customer subscriptions to 252,000 for the year ending 30 September, up from 245,000 for the previous year. Although UK client numbers have increased, the company said it is focusing more on other countries as a way to manage risk and essentially not rely on one market.

Guy Berruyer, who was appointed chief executive on 1 October 2010, said: “Our commitment to high quality customer service and our culture of innovation means our products and services are well positioned in the market. While the economic outlook remains uncertain, we are seeing some signs of improving markets for our customers.”

For the year ending 30 September 2010 earnings per share increased 14% to 19.22p compared to 16.82p for the same period in 2009.

Sage also announced numerous board changes, including group finance director Paul Harrison’s role to now encompass merger and acquisition responsibilities. This was previously handled by David Clayton, who will now lead the group’s strategic development.

Former executive director and CEO of UK and Ireland, Paul Stobart, will now become CEO of Sage Northern Europe, which will include the UK, Ireland, Germany Poland and Switzerland regions.

“My new team better reflects the international and entrepreneurial nature of the business and exploits our operational expertise. It will enable us to collaborate better, to drive innovation and to maximise the opportunities we have,” said Berruyer.

The software company also announced the launch of its latest iXBRL software aimed at accountants to allow them to convert accounts, filed in Microsoft, into the new format.

HM Revenue & Customs mandated that all corporation tax and accounts must be filed in iXBRL (inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language) format from 31 March 2011.

According to the business the latest product, Sage XBRL tagging, was created for accountants who receive final accounts in Word format or are working on specialist cases where it may not be possible to use accounts production software to produce final accounts for clients.


Related reading