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Sage rips hole in US management team

Spits out bullish forecast as shares dive

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Software maker Sage Group today said that it had ousted two senior executives from the American division of its business.

It also said performance for the year ended 30 September continued to be in line with market expectations.

Sage said its chief executive Ron Verni and chief financial officer Jim Ecjstaedt had left the company with immediate effect.

In a statement, the firm said: "Following a review of its North American business, the board has concluded that a change in leadership is required to realise the full potential of this business."

Sage said it was looking for suitable replacements, but in the meantime its senior management team would report directly to group CEO Paul Walker.

The Newcastle-based business management firm, which is the UK's largest software company, said it had seen an 18 per cent rise in primary full-year earnings.

It reckoned group revenue for the year should hit nearly £1.16bn, up some 30 per cent on 2006 figures. Sage said it had earnings before interest, tax, and amortisation (EBITA) of £283m.

The FTSE 100-listed firm said forecasts matched market consensus with revenues of about £1.17bn and EBITA of £287m expected for 2008.

Sage shares are down 5.07 per cent on the previous close, trading at 238.98 pence on the London Stock Exchange. ®

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