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Sage strikes subdued note in near term forecast

Figures get boost from currency movements

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Sage software issued a subdued forecast this morning, as it unveiled full year results which showed underlying revenues slipped 4 per cent in the year to September 30.

The accounting software firm turned in revenues of £1.44bn for the year, up 11 per cent on the year. Pretax profits were £267.4m, also up 11 per cent.

However, on an "underlying" basis, stripping out the effect of currency movements and of amortisation of intangibles, revenues were down 4 per cent on the year, though profits came in at £307.5m, a 2 per cent slip on the year.

The firm said subscription revenues were now 65 per cent of its revenues, and grew organically by 2 per cent. But software and related services revenues were down 16 per cent.

Sage said that it had seen conditions stabilise in the second half, with SMEs still prepared to invest money in value-adding business management products and services. However, it warned, it has yet to see a general recovery in its markets.

Sage's home market in the UK turned in revenues of £242.2m, down 2 per cent on the year. North America saw revenues slip 10 per cent to £576.4m. Mainland Europe was static at £520.5m, while the rest of the world grew 1 per cent on the year.

The UK and North America have arguably taken the biggest hit in the economic downturn. ®

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