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By | John Oates 1st December 2010 11:40

Coffers swell as Sage squeezes more juice from flat revenue

North American supremo supplanted by French chief

Shares in small biz accountancy provider Sage are up over four per cent this morning after the company announced a return to growth.

Sage said revenues were flat compared to last year but profits were up 20 per cent.

For the full year Sage made £1,435m compared to £1,439.3m in 2009; this is effectively unchanged once currency movements are factored out.

Pre-tax profit was up 20 per cent from £267.4m in 2009 to £319.9m this year - with currency changes removed, this is still a 14 per cent growth.

Earnings per share are also up 20 per cent from 14.46 pence to 17.29 pence.

Guy Berruyer, newly-appointed chief exec, said the economic outlook remained uncertain but there were some signs of improvement. He said Sage would focus on North American growth, where revenue was down four per cent, but profits up 15 per cent.

He said that while SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) entered the recession later than larger businesses, they were also slower to see confidence restored.

Berruyer said: "Our business partner channel remains highly relevant to SMEs, particularly in the mid-market, bringing their deep domain knowledge of SMEs' business processes to ensure our solutions are implemented and, if appropriate, customised in the most effective way.

"We have seen the trend of partner consolidation continue, and we have focussed our resources and sales leads on high quality partners."

Sage's North American chef executive and president Sue Swenson is retiring in mid-2011, she will be replaced by current chief exec of France Pascal Houillon. Paul Stobart, moves from CEO of UK business to CEO of Northern Europe.

Alvaro Ramirez, CEO of Spain, takes over as CEO of Southern Europe. Ivan Epstein, CEO of Africa and Australia, adds the Middle East and Asia to his job title.

Sage's full financial figures are here. ®

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