Sage three-month revenue up 5% to £458m

Sage CFO Jonathan Howell

Sage Group, the Newcastle-based international software giant for SMEs, said on Wednesday its total group revenue increased by 5% to £458 million in the three months ended December 31, 2021, as it reiterated its guidance for the full year.

However, shares of the firm fell about 6% amid disappointment among some analysts that the revenue growth was a bit short of the full-year consensus forecast of 6.6% and recurring revenue growth was at the low end of the full year guidance range.

Sage provides accounting, financial, HR and payroll technology for small and mid-sized businesses.

Sage chief financial officer Jonathan Howell said: “Sage has made a strong start to the year, accelerating growth in line with expectations.

“Sage Business Cloud has performed particularly well, driven by continued growth in both cloud native and cloud connected solutions, as we execute on our strategy to be the trusted network for small and mid-sized businesses.

“Accordingly, we reiterate our guidance for the full year, as set out in our FY21 results announcement.”

In a trading update, Sage said: “Recurring revenue grew by 8% to £429m, underpinned by a 21% rise in Sage Business Cloud revenue to £280m, with continued strength in new customer acquisition.

“Software subscription revenue grew by 13% to £336m (Q1 21: £296m), increasing subscription penetration to 73% (Q1 21: 68%).

“Regionally, North America achieved growth in recurring revenue of 11% to £174m (Q1 21: £157m) reflecting further strength in Sage Intacct, together with growth in cloud connected products.

“In Northern Europe, recurring revenue increased by 7% to £102m (Q1 21: £96m), driven by accelerating growth in cloud native solutions including Sage Accounting and Sage Intacct.

“In International, recurring revenue increased by 5% to £152m (Q1 21: £145m), with growth across Sage Business Cloud supported by further progress in migrations.

“In terms of the portfolio view of recurring revenue, the Future Sage Business Cloud opportunity (products within, or to be migrated to, Sage Business Cloud) grew 10% to £394m.

“This was driven by strong growth in cloud native revenue of 44% to £90m (Q1 21: £62m) primarily through new customer acquisition, as well as further growth in the cloud connected portfolio.

“Sage Business Cloud penetration increased to 71% (Q1 21: 65%). 

“Other revenue (SSRS and processing) decreased by 22% to £29m, in line with our strategy to transition away from licence sales and professional services implementations.

“Total group revenue increased by 5% to £458m.

“On 17 January 2021, Sage completed the previously announced acquisition of Brightpearl, a cloud native multichannel retail management system for the retail and ecommerce vertical.

“The acquisition accelerates our strategy for growth, including scaling Sage Intacct, broadening the value proposition for mid-sized businesses and expanding Sage’s digital network.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.