RTI legislation drives growth at Sage

FTSE 100 business Sage has said that introduction real-time-information reporting on taxes, has ensured a good performance in the UK.

According to an interim management statement, UK & Ireland “delivered good performance, with legislative change remaining one of the drivers of growth”.

“In mainland Europe, the improved performance in the second half of 2013 was maintained in the first quarter of 2014.”

However, the company said that France and Spain continue to have difficult trading conditions in the mid-market.

The provider of accountancy and finance software said the Americas also maintained strong performance due to the migration of customers to “premium support”.

A further 5.7m shares have been repurchased for a consideration of £19.1m since the year end of 30 September 2013. Sage also announced that net debt at fallen to £381.8m at 31 December 2013, down from £384.3m at 30 September 2013.

However, the company said its pre-tax profits dropped 51% in the year to 30 September 2013. Despite growing revenues by 3%, operating profit fell 48% to £180.5m from £344.9m the year before. Similarly, pre-tax profits shrank from £334.3m to £161.1m, a 51% contraction.

Other announcements in the interim management statement included, as previously stated, that Steve Hare would join as CFO and Drummond Hall as non-executive director.

Hare was previously at FTSE 100 business Apax partners, where he co-headed the portfolio group. Prior to that he was CFO for three listed UK companies, most recently with Invensys from 2006 to 2009. 

Guy Berruyer (pictured), CEO, said: “Our performance in the first quarter is in-line with our expectations, with good growth maintained across all regions. Through continued focus on our strategic cornerstones, we remain on course to deliver on our 6% organic revenue growth target in 2015, and anticipate making further progress during the year ahead.”

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