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By | Paul Kunert 30th November 2011 15:46

Sage warns of bumpy ride ahead

Fiscal 2011 profit and sales gains may be difficult to sustain

Unstoppable accountancy software juggernaut Sage kept its foot on the gas in fiscal 2011 to record decent top- and bottom-line gains but warned of some danger signs on the road ahead.

The firm made £331m pre-tax profits, up 11 per cent on sales of £1.33bn, a rise of 4 per cent for the year ended 30 September.

In Europe sales were up 4 per cent to £795.7m and organic subscription sales grew 5 per cent while the UK performed slightly better than the region, up 5 per cent.

Turnover in North America grew 3 per cent to £390m and 11 per cent in Africa, Australia, Middle East and Asia to £147.5m.

In a statement, chief exec Guy Berruyer said that Sage's "loyal" base of customers and health financial standing were "strong fundamentals" that helped the software company during the year but sounded a note of caution about the short-term economy.

"As we look forward, there are clearly significant macro-economic concerns which may impact SMEs, particularly in the eurozone, and our customers are telling us through our Sage Business Index that they see the outlook remaining uncertain," he said.

"Given the current economic uncertainty, we will continue to manage the business prudently, whilst pursuing the significant longer term opportunities we have in our markets," he added.

During the year the firm put in place a new management team and disposed of the Sage Healthcare biz during the year.

Former distie veteran Lee Perkins joined in June to head of the SME unit, and Jayne Archbold became head of the Accountants division in Octboer, replacing Jim Scott who moved to run mid-market operations at the same time. ®

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