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Full Year 2021 results

The Sage Group plc audited results for the year ended 30 September 2021.

Wednesday 17 November 2021
Download the full PDF of the press release.

Accelerating growth driven by continued strategic progress

  • Strategic investment driving growth and significant acceleration in new customer acquisition
  • Organic recurring revenue growth of 5.4%, driven by growth in Sage Business Cloud of 19%
  • Organic operating margin of 19.3%, in line with guidance
  • Sustained strong cash generation, with underlying cash conversion of 126%
  • ARR growth of 7.7%, underpinned by cloud native ARR growth of 44%
  • FY22 organic recurring revenue growth expected to be in the region of 8% to 9%
  • Refreshed strategic framework to reflect Sage’s evolving strategic priorities

Alternative Performance Measures (APMs)1




Organic Financial APMs




Organic Total Revenue




Organic Recurring Revenue




Organic Operating Profit




     % Organic Operating Profit Margin



-2.7 ppts




Underlying Financial APMs








Underlying Operating Profit




     % Underlying Profit Margin



-2.2 ppts

Underlying Basic EPS




Underlying Cash Conversion



+3 ppts









Annualised Recurring Revenue (ARR)




Renewal Rate by Value




% Subscription Penetration



+5 ppts

% Sage Business Cloud Penetration



+7 ppts

Statutory Measures



% Change





Operating Profit




     % Operating Profit Margin



-1.1 ppts

Basic EPS (p)




Dividend Per Share (p)




Please note that tables may not cast and change percentages may not calculate precisely  due to rounding.

Commenting on the results, CEO Steve Hare said

“Sage delivered a strong performance in FY21. We achieved recurring revenue growth ahead of our initial expectations and ended the year with real momentum, supported by our strategic investment in sales, marketing and innovation. Our cloud native solutions have performed particularly well, as more new customers choose Sage to take care of their accounting, people and payroll processes – removing friction, delivering business insights, and giving them a competitive edge. I would like to thank our colleagues and partners, whose hard work and commitment has helped deliver a successful year.

“Having reshaped and invested significantly in the Group over the last three years, we are now focused on growing the business in absolute terms, both organically and through acquisitions. The small and mid-sized businesses that power the global economy are adopting digital solutions at a faster rate than ever before, and through our trusted technology and human approach, Sage is well positioned to support them. I am confident that, through our refreshed strategic framework, we will deliver further sustainable growth, driving the success of Sage now and in the long term.”

Financial highlights   

    • Organic recurring revenue increased by 5% to £1,637m, underpinned by Sage Business Cloud growth of 19% to £997m. Organic total revenue grew by 3% to £1,778m.

    • Organic operating profit of £343m represents a margin of 19.3% (FY20: 22.0%). This reflects our planned strategic investment to accelerate growth across Sage Business Cloud, with a focus on cloud native solutions, asset out in our FY20 results announcement

    • Statutory operating profit reduced to £373m (FY20: £404m), principally reflecting the additional strategic investment, with non-recurring net gains of £55m (FY20: £46m) driven by disposals

    • Strong underlying cash conversion of 126% (FY20: 123%) reflects continued growth in subscription revenue and sustained improvements in working capital, including strength in receivables collection.

    • Robust balance sheet, with c. £1.2bn of cash and available liquidity (comprising £567m of cash and cash equivalents, and £669m of undrawn facilities), and net debt to EBITDA of 0.6x.

    • Final dividend up 2.7% to1 1.63p, in line with our dividend policy, taking the full year dividend to 17.68p.

Strategic and operational highlights

    • Annualised recurring revenue (ARR) up 8% to £1,680m (FY20: £1,560m), with growth accelerating significantly in the second half across all regions.

    • Cloud native ARR increased by 44% to £347m (FY20: £240m), driven by growth from new customers and supported by migrations from cloud connected and desktop products.

    • £140m of ARR added through new customer acquisition (including reactivations), up from £90m in FY20.

    • Renewal by value of 99% is in line with FY20, and reflects a strong performance in customer add-ons in the second half, together with a continued focus on customer retention.

    • Sage Business Cloud penetration increased to 67% (FY20: 60%), enabling more customers to connect to Sage’s cloud services and ecosystem via the digital network.

      • Delivered against our FY21 strategic priorities for growth:

      • Accelerated growth in solutions for mid-sized businesses, particularly Sage Intacct, both in North America and globally.

      • Built significant momentum in cloud native solutions for small businesses in Northern Europe.

      • Cloud connected portfolio continues to perform well, led by the International region.

      • Completed disposals of businesses in Poland, Asia and Australia, and announced an agreement for the disposal of Sage’s business in Switzerland, increasing focus on core geographies.


We expect to achieve organic recurring revenue growth in the region of 8% to 9% in FY22, driven by continuing strength in Sage Business Cloud, and in cloud native revenues in particular. We also expect other revenue (SSRS & processing) to continue to decline, in line with our strategy. Consistent with previous guidance, organic operating margin is expected to trend upwards in FY22 and beyond, as we now focus on scaling the Group.

About Sage

Sage exists to knock down barriers so everyone can thrive, starting with the millions of Small and Mid-Sized Businesses served by us, our partners and accountants. Customers trust our finance, HR and payroll software to make work and money flow. By digitising business processes and relationships with customers, suppliers, employees, banks and governments, our digital network connects SMBs, removing friction and delivering insights. Knocking down barriers also means we use our time, technology and experience to tackle digital inequality, economic inequality and the climate crisis.


Sage: +44 (0) 7900 046714
James Sandford, Investor Relations
Amy Lawson, Corporate PR

Finsbury Glover Hering: +44 (0) 20 72513801
Conor McClafferty
Amanda Healy


A presentation for investors and analysts will be held at 8.30am UK time. The webcast can be accessed live, and subsequently as a replay, via Participants may also dial in by calling +44 (0) 20 71928338, using pin code 5495161.

1Please see Appendix 1 for guidance on the usage and definitions of the Alternative Performance Measures.
2Organic revenue and operating profit for FY20 is restated to aid comparability with FY21. The definition of organic measures can be found in Appendix 1 with a full reconciliation of organic, underlying and statutory measures on page 10. Unless otherwise specified, all references to revenue, profit and margins are on an organic basis.

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