The Sage Group plc is today issuing its interim management statement which covers the period from 1 April 2013 to date.
Trading remains in-line with expectations at the time of the interim results announcement on 8 May 2013. In Europe, the good performance of UK and Ireland reported for the first half of the year continued in the third quarter, with the business capitalising on legislative change to support growth. Our businesses in mainland Europe delivered resilient performances in market conditions which remain weak, particularly in our larger markets of France and Spain.
In Americas, the main trends highlighted at our interim results in May have continued in the quarter. Our North American business has maintained the good performance reported for the first half, with the migration of customers to premium support and momentum with Sage ERP X3 remaining key features.
AAMEA continues to deliver good growth, with our businesses in South Africa and broader African markets performing well.
The Group’s operating cash generation remains strong. During the period, the Group paid an ordinary dividend to shareholders of £42.8m and a special dividend of £198.7m. The share buyback programme has also continued and, since 1 April 2013, a further 12.0m shares have been repurchased for a consideration of £40.5m. Net debt at 30 June 2013, was £445.1m (£230.8m as at 31 March 2013).
Guy Berruyer, Chief Executive, commented:
“We are encouraged by our performance in a trading environment which continues to vary across our markets. We are driving significant change through the business, which is delivering results, and we remain confident that we will deliver on our strategic and financial goals.”
Guy Berruyer, Chief Executive Paul Harrison, Chief Financial Officer Murdo Montgomery,
Investor Relations – The Sage Group plc +44(0) 191 294 4121
David Shriver, Jonathan Sibun – Tulchan Communications +44(0) 20 7353 4200
About The Sage Group plc
The Sage Group plc is a leading global provider of business management software to small and medium sized companies, creating greater freedom for them to succeed. Sage understands how and why each business is unique. We provide products and services that suit varying needs, are a pleasure to use and are secure and efficient. Formed in 1981, Sage was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and entered the FTSE 100 in 1999. Sage has over 6 million customers and more than 13,380 employees in 24 countries covering the UK & Ireland, mainland Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia, Asia and Brazil. For further information please visit www.sage.com