Sage profit up to £398m on £1.8bn revenue

Sage Group CEO Steve Hare

Newcastle-based software giant Sage Group, the UK’s largest listed tech company, said on Wednesday its revenue increased 7.6% to £1.85 billion in the year to September 30 and pre-tax profit grew 16.4% to £398 million.

Sage said in late August that previous CEO Stephen Kelly would leave the company after the firm revealed in May that around 30 senior executives had left the firm after first half organic revenue growth results “were below management’s expectations, reflecting inconsistent operational execution.”

Sage’s new CEO Steve Hare said: “Sage has shown stronger performance in the second half of FY18.

“The renewed focus on high-quality subscription and recurring revenue has generated momentum as we exited the year.

“As CEO I will put customers, colleagues and innovation at the heart of everything we do to accelerate the transition to becoming a great SaaS business.

“That means investing further resource in Sage Business Cloud, a continued commitment to customer success and a culture which values the individuals and promotes collaboration. 

“Increased investment in these areas will lead to an acceleration in high-quality sustainable recurring revenue growth.”

In its outlook, Sage said: “We expect FY19 organic operating margins to be broadly stable before the impact of around £60m of specifically targeted investment to accelerate the transition to SaaS, especially in product and innovation which will also enhance efficiency and effectiveness over time.

“Including this impact, organic operating margin will be in the range of 23%-25%, maintaining strong free cash flow as a proportion of revenue.

“Over time, this model will drive a sustainable acceleration in recurring revenue growth whilst enabling strong returns on investment.”