Sage posts rise in profits as CFO departs

THE LOSS OF SAGE’S CFO to WANdisco has been somewhat offset by better-than-expected first half results at the FTSE 100 software company.

Sage announced growth in revenues and earnings for the six months ended 31 March 2013 just days before it revealed Paul Harrison is leaving the business after 13 years as the chief financial officer to join New York Stock Exchange listed WANdisco in the same role.

The company posted a 3% increase in underlying revenue to £626.3m, while profit excluding exceptional items increased 6% to £184.9m. When including exceptional items in relation to the disposal of non-core products, the company fell to a £7.7m loss for the period.

Sage also increased its dividend 6% and proposed a special dividend of £200m, equivalent to around 17 pence per share, bringing total cash returned to shareholders in the last 18 months to around £1bn.

Subscription sales increased 5% to £451.4m which offsets a 4% (£221.7m) contraction of software and software related revenues. 

“We delivered good growth in recurring revenues, in line with our strategy. We continue to drive significant change through the business, which is delivering results in the face of continued macroeconomic headwinds,” said Guy Berruyer (pictured) chief executive of Sage.

“We are encouraged by our performance, which we expect to sustain for the remainder of the year, and we remain confident that we will deliver on our strategic and financial goals.” 

Sage also announced that the finance director of Close Brothers, Jonathan Howell, will be joining the company as non-executive director to sit on its remuneration, audit and nomination committees.

Total revenues in Europe grew 1% to £400m. UK and Ireland showed particular strength growing organically by 5% due to the resilient performance of its SageCover Extra and the increasing popularity of its online offering Sage One, which has 300,000 paying customers.

Germany also grew 7% but its Spanish operations contracted by 8%, Swiss revenues by 6% and Polish business 28%.

To see the full results click here

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