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RTI yields growth for Sage

6th Dec 2013
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Real time information (RTI) helped Sage’s UK and Ireland subsidiary lead their international counterparts, the accounting software company reported this week.

In its 2013 annual report  Sage group said it achieved global organic growth of 4%, but saw its operating profit drop from £344.9m in 2012 to £180.5m this year. The fall mainly resulted from offloading “non-core” products that wiped out £188.2m worth of profits, but the move “streamlined the portfolio, allowing a greater focus on the core”, said chief executive Guy Berruyer.

The disposals included Sage's construction business, which netted £2.4m when it was sold on 30 April.

Sage’s pre-tax profit fell £170m to £164.1m in 2013. The group paid £116.6m in tax, which included an exceptional charge of £17.4m on the disposal of its non-core products.

Sage's "highlight" was the UK and Ireland, which surpassed sluggish growth rates for new licence sales in Europe thanks to the introduction of RTI. The switch also boosted demand for Sage 50 Payroll and RTI training programmes.

Sage’s cloud offering, Sage One, is also performing well in the UK, the company reported. Sage One now boasts more than 21,000 paying subscriptions - a three-fold increase during the past year - and more than 5,000 practitioners in the UK and Ireland registered to use the Sage One Accountant edition by the end of September 2013. 

Growing its portfolio of cloud solutions for small to medium sized business, along with access to its software via mobiles, will continue to feature on the company's development roadmap.

"By providing SME customers with a well-rounded offering that includes leading on-premise and cloud products, connected services and support, Sage is differentiated and is in a strong position to drive growth," the report said.

"We see mobility as an attractive future growth opportunity, as it makes the core accounting and ERP data accessible to both financial and non-financial users on smartphones and tablets."

The annual account also noted the £82.9m damages claim from Australian equity group Archer capital. The claim arose from the termination of discussions between Sage and Archer around the potential purchase of accounting software firm MYOB. 

"The group strongly rejects the claim and will defend itself vigorously," the report said. 


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