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The Sage Group plc Interim Management Statement
24 January 2012
The Sage Group plc ("Sage") is today issuing its interim management statement which covers the period from 1 October 2011 to date.
The trading performance since the start of the year has been satisfactory and is in-line with expectations for the year.
The Group`s strong operating cash generation has continued and, during the quarter, we received £200m from the proceeds of the disposal of Sage Software Healthcare LLC to Vista Equity Partners. As previously announced, a share buyback programme was started to return these proceeds and, to date, 17.7m shares have been repurchased for an aggregate consideration of £50m. Accordingly, net cash at 31 December 2011 was £149.8m (£24.9m net debt at 30 September 2011).
Sage (SGE) achieved pre-tax profit growth of 10.7% to 330.8 million pounds for the year ended 30th September on revenues of 1.33 billion pounds, up 4.4%. The business management software developer attributes this growth to its loyal customer base and technological innovation. However, the group noted concern over the weak macro-economic environment and will now look to focus on geographic areas with the most growth potential. The shares jumped 15.1p to 290.1p
Guy Berruyer, Chief Executive, commented: "These good results reflect the strong fundamentals of Sage's business including our leading market positions, a large and loyal customer base, a culture of innovation and robust financial position. In the past year we have continued to build on these foundations to deliver higher revenue and profit growth in the future. With our strong cash flows, confidence in our business and our focus on shareholder returns, we are evolving our approach to the use of capital, and as part of the process, the Board has rebased the dividend, resulting in a proposed 25% increase for 2011.
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. However, the strengths of our business position us well to deal with the ups and downs of the economic cycle. 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".
§ Organic revenue# growth of 4%* in the year (2010: 1%*), with 3%* growth in software and software-related service revenues (2010: 3%* contraction) and 5%* growth in subscription revenues (2010: 3%* growth)
§ EBITA†margin increased to 27.4% (2010: 26.4%*) at the same time as investing for growth
§ Underlying earnings per share increased by 16%* to 20.81p (2010: 17.88p*), reflecting 8%* growth in pre-tax profit, and favourable tax settlements in the year
§ Strong operating cash flow of £405.1m (2010: £394.5m), representing 111% of EBITA†, with net debt reducing to £24.9m at 30 September 2011 (30 September 2010: £219.8m)
§ Rebasing of dividend with 25% increase in total dividend for the year to 9.75p per share (2010: 7.80p per share). This results in a proposed final dividend of 7.07p per share (2010: 5.22p per share)
§ Share buyback programme of £200m continues, following the sale of Sage Healthcare
§ Innovation driving new product releases, including online business solutions and connected services. Significant launches in the year (e.g. Sage One) with strong pipeline of new releases planned for 2012
§ 261,000 new paying customers added in the year (2010: 252,000), and our high quality customer service maintained subscription contract renewal rates at 81%
Guy Berruyer, Sage Chief Executive, commented:
"The sale of Sage Healthcare allows management in the North American region to focus on the considerable opportunities that exist within our core US customer base. We are also announcing a share buyback programme with the proceeds of the sale, reflecting our commitment to delivering shareholder value."
22 September 2011
Sage announces sale of US Healthcare division to Vista Equity Partners
The Sage Group plc ("Sage") today announces that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell Sage Software Healthcare LLC ("Sage Healthcare"), its subsidiary offering practice management and electronic health record solutions to US physician practices, to Vista Equity Partners. The cash proceeds for the sale are $320m (£205m*) and the sale is expected to complete in November 2011. Sage intends to return all of these proceeds to shareholders through a share buyback programme.
Sage Healthcare's reported revenue for the half year ended 31 March 2011# was £72m with EBITA† of £10m.
Why is this stock all the way down ere? Can someone explain. Surely not just market conditions? This is a good solid company. Come on Sage!
Sage Group hit the headlines this week when it was reported to have outbid private equity for the Australian software company MYOB, a specialist in accounting and bookkeeping software. If the deal completes, Sage would be catapulted instantly into a market-leading position in Australia. However, there are market whispers that Sage may be wavering and the A$1.4 billion (£880 million) takeover may not take place. Sage refused to comment on whether the purchase was in the bag or if it might walk away. Sage, which is valued at less than 12 times projected profit this year, may decide to mind its own business in Australia but it looks set for a new era of takeovers, which could trigger uncharacteristic interest in the stock. With organic growth restored and debt well under control, any lull in the shares could provide a good entry point, says the Times.
Sage Group (SGE) has responded to rumours by confirming plans of a potential acquisition of MYOB, a subsidiary of private equity group Archer Capital. It is believed the target could sell for more than 1 billion Australian dollars (0.64 billion pounds) and, although Sage tried to withhold any definite plans, it now seems that steps to acquire the company have begun. It is rumoured that Sage is willing to pay more than private equity rivals, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Bain Capital, in order to obtain the successful accounting software business that generated EBIDTA of 105 million Australian dollars (66.89 million pounds) in its last financial year. Shares in Sage dropped 2.8p to 249.2p.
Accountancy software titan Sage said it has continued to deliver good growth despite an uncertain economic backdrop, and full year results should be in line with the board's expectations. Net debt at the end of June stood at £67m, down from £106m at the end of March.
Demand for Sage Group stock soared yesterday amid speculation that an overseas predator was lining up a £6bn bid approach. Hopes for further deals in the software sector have been fuelled by a recent approach – thought to be from a US buyout firm – for Micro Focus International. Another UK mid-cap, Misys, has also been talked up this week as a potential merger candidate. Traders heard rumours of a 450p-plus approach for Sage, up 10.25p to 296p. US giant Oracle and Germany’s SAP were tipped as likely suitors, according to the Daily Express
If it is not true SAGE are required to say so - wait for a denial - if no denial we could be in for a big jump in SP !!! Hope we are ! Regards all and GL with your own plans.
sorry got excited and missed the next bit:
"US giant Oracle and Germany’s SAP were tipped as likely suitors, according to the Daily Express"
but it's from the daily express, would feel more confident in the information if it was from the times.
From ADVFN's morning roundup:
"Demand for Sage Group stock soared yesterday amid speculation that an overseas predator was lining up a £6bn bid approach."
Anyone know anything more about this? It value sage at around £4.50.
North America returns to growth for Sage
Date: Wednesday 04 May 2011
LONDON (ShareCast) - Accountancy software firm Sage released interim figures that were ahead of some brokers' forecasts as its North American business returned to growth.
Underlying profit before tax in the half-year ended 31 March rose 4% to £183.5m from £176.1m a year earlier. Underlying earnings per share (EPS) also increased 4% to 9.87p, from 9.52p the year before. Broker Matrix Group had forecast EPS of 9.7p.
The broker was also slightly light with its revenue forecast of £741.6m, as sales climbed 3% to £742.7m from £718.9m, while underlying organic revenue was £728.2m, up 4% from £699.4m the year before.
The 4% organic growth rate represents an acceleration from the 3% year on year growth in the second half of the previous financial year.
Revenue in Europe grew 5% to £401.5m from £383.3m the year before, while revenue in North America edged up to £270.9m from £269.6m. In the Africa, Australia, Middle East and Asia geographical grouping total revenues grew 13% to £70.3m from £62.1m at the interim stage last year.
Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) jumped 5% to £190.3m from £180.5m the year before, while the EBITA margin was maintained at 25.6%.
The group enjoyed strong operating cash flow of £233.6m (H1 2010: £236.6m), representing 123% of EBITA, with net debt reducing to £106.0m at 31 March from £219.8m at the end of September 2010.
The interim dividend has been hiked by 4% to 2.68p from 2.58p at the interim stage last year.
“We have seen an increase in business confidence for SMEs [small and medium sized enterprises] in the period, although the picture varies by geography and the outlook remains uncertain. We have continued to invest in the business in the period, including in services offered over the web. Customers have responded well to innovation in our products and services and the provision of strong customer support,” claimed Guy Berruyer, chief executive officer of Sage.
“With growth returning to the business, a large and loyal international customer base, and a strong balance sheet, we are confident that Sage is well positioned to capitalise on its many growth opportunities, and look forward to continued progress in the second half of the year,” Berruyer said.
Ramirez is Hobson's choice at Sage
Date: Wednesday 20 Apr 2011
LONDON (ShareCast) - A change to the executive team at accounting software giant Sage has been forced on the company by the decision of Paul Stobart, head of the group's Northern Europe operations, to move on.
Stobart, who has been with the group since 1996, will cease to be a director of Sage on 31 May 2011. Álvaro Ramírez, currently chief executive officer (CEO) of Sage Southern Europe will assume responsibility for all of Sage's European operations with immediate effect, reporting to Guy Berruyer, Sage's Group CEO.
After paying tribute to Stobart's contribution to the group's development Sage chairman Tony Hobson talked up Ramirez's attributes and achievements.
“Alvaro joined Sage in 2003 having seen Grupo SP, the business he founded, bought by Sage. Subsequently he has grown Sage's Spanish business over 300%, both organically and by acquisition, and he has been at the forefront of Sage's strategy of increasing subscription revenues by selling premium support contracts,” Hobson said.
The organisational change means the next set of results from Sage, due on 4 May, will be organised into three regions: Europe, North America and AAMEA (Asia, Australia, Middle East and Africa).
Evolution Securities issued a "buy" rating on Sage Group (SGE), the accounting and business management software provider, with a 340p target price. Following the group's analyst day, the broker came away convinced that there was no real structural impediment to returning to high single digit organic revenue growth per annum in the medium term. Adding to this, Evolution said there were growth drivers in many areas of the business, not least the latent US support opportunity. Sage shares lost 8.6p to 292.1p.
Was he not a director or something at SAGE?
Well if you do remember him and his achievements take a quick mental note..........
He is currently a Non Executive Director in a company called SYNC that trades at 1.5P...it is about to blow...but what ever you do do not mention the ZAIN / BHARTI AIR TEL DEAL.
Free tip for sage fans only.......check my posts i don't ever ramp on any other board.....SYNC are trying to keep the sp low for some underhanded reason but i'm on to them buy it cheap now or just check it out.
I'll take that. Interim results out 06/05/09