Sage maintains recovery in sales

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Software group Sage has said its sales revival is continuing

Software group Sage has said its sales revival is continuing as more of its small and medium-sized business customers showed signs of recovery.

The FTSE 100 company returned to sales growth in the six months to September and maintained the improved performance in the final three months of 2010.

Chief executive Guy Berruyer said the company’s principal markets, which include the UK, USA and Australia, stepped up their gradual recovery in the quarter, helping Sage perform in line with expectations.

Shares in Sage were up 2% following the update.

The company operates in more than 24 countries and mainly serves small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The UK makes up about 20% of its revenues, with America accounting for about 40%.

The Newcastle-based firm, which employs around 13,400 people and serves more than six million businesses worldwide, previously said SMEs went into the recession late but were also slow to recover.

Sage recently reported its first period of growth in software and software-related services in the six months to September 2010 since 2007.

The improved performance helped overall revenues climb 3% on an organic basis in the second half of the year, compared with a decline of 2% in the first half.

Despite revenues for the year being flat at £1.4 billion, the company posted a 14% rise in underlying profits of £355.7 million.

Aside from its Newcastle headquarters, the firm also has UK offices in Manchester, Winnersh, near Reading, central London and Witney in Oxfordshire.

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