Caution remains as Sage shuffles management team


Caution remains as Sage shuffles management team

Simon Quicke

A return to spending by small businesses helped buoy Sage's full year numbers but the software vendor warned that the outlook in its customer base remained uncertain.

Full year pretax profits increased by 14% for the full year ended 30 September to £355.7m but revenue remained flat at £1.44m.

The firm saw its subscription revenues increase by 2% and its software and services business move back into growth in the second half of the year after it had contracted at the start of its fiscal year.

The results were the first to be announced by the CEO Guy Berruyer who took over from Paul Walker in October and he sounded a cautious note about the state of the market.

"While the economic outlook remains uncertain, we are seeing some signs of improving markets for our customers, although this varies by geography," he said.

The fly in the ointment came in the shape of the performance of the vendor in the US where the numbers haven't been quite as strong as the vendor would have been looking for.

The North American management team has been reshuffled with the CEO of the region Sue Swenson opting to retire leaving the business by mid next year. She is being replaced by Pascal Houillon, currently running France.

There is also an expanded role for Paul Stobart, currently running Sage in UK and Ireland, who also gets the Northern European countries Germany, Poland and Switzerland to manage.

Berruyer highlighted cranking up the US as a key target for the year ahead: "My focus is on improving organic revenue growth, particularly in North America, in driving our web strategy, and in growing our margin in the medium term whilst continuing to invest in higher growth initiatives such as payment processing and Sage ERP X3.

"We look forward with cautious optimism, whilst managing our costs prudently in these uncertain times," he added.

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