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Sage revenues rise despite slowdown

Despite a slowing US market and hangover Y2K fears, accountancy software vendor Sage Group saw revenues rise by 13 per cent in the last six months to £229.6m.

At the same time, profits grew by ten per cent to £59.2m in the six months to 31 March.
"Our second quarter showed an encouraging improvement in revenue growth, which continued into April. While not immune to the US slowdown, we believe we will deliver satisfactory results for the full year," said a company statement.
Sage attributed its success to revenues derived from its 2.7m existing customers which contributed 65 per cent of the company's total revenues.
Investor relations manager Phil Branston said he was optimistic about the future, especially after surviving a really tough first half of last year.
He said that not only did Sage have to battle with the US slowdown, but also Y2K fears.
"But France, which was the first to be affected by the Y2K problem, has made a promising recovery, which bodes well for other markets."
The statement said that SMEs continued to adopt a cautious attitude to e-business and it did not expect this to change significantly in the short term.
"There is an increasing awareness of the benefits of e-business, stimulated partly by our communication campaign," the statement said, adding it would continue to invest in the e-business sector.

Sage is also emphasising services as key to its future success.

"If we manage to increase our support services by five per cent, that equates to £25m in increased sales," claimed Branston.

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