Software firm hails fresh momentum

Marussia driver Max Chilton navigates a corner at the Australian Grand Prix, in Melbourne, earlier this year. Marussia works with Sage Group on software to boost its performance

Sage Group chief executive Guy Berruyer

First published in Business News

A SOFTWARE firm has lauded its fresh momentum after increasing revenues.

Sage Group, which employs more than 1,000 North-East workers, saw revenues hit £657m for the half-year to March 31, up from £626m a year ago.

The Newcastle-based firm said operating profits were nearly nine per cent higher at £180m, with retiring chief executive Guy Berruyer confident of delivering further revenue growth in 2015.

Mr Berruyer, who expects to step down from his role by March next year, added its strong market position has been bolstered by subscriptions for its accountancy and payroll software and its services for small businesses, which have trebled to nearly 33,000 in the last year.

The company serves more than six million firms worldwide, offering management software and services, including accounting and payroll support.

It has also worked with growing Formula One team Marussia, providing software for engineers to monitor thousands of car parts, and operates Sage One, an online accounting platform, from the region.

Mr Berruyer said: “These are very good results and we have momentum behind us.

“This success is based on a number of things.

“We are developing new technology, some of it here in Newcastle, but we are also working with existing customers on subscriptions.

“These give them a lifetime value and a much simpler way of operating.

“They have everything they need from us and get the support they need, which helps to create a closer relationship.”

Mr Berruyer said his retirement would allow him to concentrate on other interests.

He said: “I'm retiring from the executive life and it will be a bit of a change for me.

“It will give me more opportunities to spend time with my family and explore other things.

“Life is about making choices, and at 63-years-old, I still have many things I want to achieve besides an executive career.

“Putting the company on a good trajectory was one of my main priorities.

“We have made a positive start, but there is still more to do and I will continue with that.”

Donald Brydon, Sage Group chairman, praised Mr Berruyer's impact on the company.

He added: “The board understands the reasons that have led Guy to his decision.

“During his four years as chief executive, he has set the company on a new path to growth and will leave it in good shape for his successor with a strong team in place.”

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