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By | Kelly Fiveash 8th May 2008 10:58

Sage sees flat US market

But Europe helps boost first half

Sage Group today reported a nine per cent rise in its first half pre-tax profit, boosted by a solid performance in Europe and the UK.

The business management software firm posted pre-tax profit for the six months ended 31 March of £122.6m – up from £108.6m in H1 2007 – on revenues of £640.4m, compared with £574.7m for the same period a year ago.

However, the FTSE-100 listed company said sales at its troubled North American Healthcare arm, where Sage derives 11 per cent of total group revenues, remained flat, pulling in £248.5m compared to £249m a year earlier.

The healthcare division failed to meet expectations for Sage, which is continuing to restructure the unit. It said the search for a CEO was well advanced for that division and it expects to make an announcement shortly.

Sage CEO Paul Walker said the Newcastle-based firm remains optimistic. He said in a statement: "The predictability of our revenue streams and the high degree of recurring revenues, combined with our large, loyal, geographically diverse customer base gives us confidence for the full year."

Sage shares are currently trading up more than seven per cent at 227.75 pence on the London Stock Exchange. ®

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