The Sage Group plc – Year-end trading update for the twelve months ended 30 September 2004

Revenue growth of 29%* and pre-tax profit growth of 20%, in line with market expectations
(PresseBox) (Newcastle upon Tyne, ) The Sage Group plc, a leading supplier of accounting and business management software solutions and services for small to medium-sized enterprises, is today providing an update on trading performance (unaudited) for the year ended 30 September 2004. Full details of the Group's financial performance for the year will be provided in the preliminary results announcement on 1 December 2004.

- Group revenues increased by 29%* to approximately £688m, in line with market expectations

- Core product organic revenue growth of 6%*, excluding acquisitions and non-core products

- Pre-tax profit increased by 20% to approximately £181m, in line with market expectations

- Earnings per share grew 21% to 9.9p

UK
In the UK, revenues grew 9% to approximately £186m and the operating margin was approximately 39% (2003: 39%).

Mainland Europe
In Mainland Europe, revenues grew 22%* to approximately £170m and the operating margin was approximately 24% (2003: 19%*).

SP (Spain, acquired in October 2003) contributed revenues of approximately £24m, at an operating margin of approximately 23%.

Excluding acquisitions, organic revenue growth in Mainland Europe was 5%*.

North America
North American revenues grew 30%* to approximately £287m and the operating margin was approximately 22% (2003: 25%), having been diluted by the lower initial margins of the two acquisitions described below.

Timberline (acquired in September 2003), in its first full year under ownership, contributed revenues of approximately £34m, at an operating margin of approximately 12%.

ACCPAC (acquired in March 2004) contributed total revenues of approximately £34m at an operating margin of approximately 12%. Of these revenues, approximately £25m was generated in North America, at an operating margin of approximately 11%. The remainder of ACCPAC’s contribution was in the other regions and has been allocated accordingly within the Group results.

Excluding acquisitions and non-core products, core product organic revenue growth in North America was 5%*.

Rest of World
This region principally comprises the South African, Australian and Far Eastern businesses of Softline (acquired in November 2003) and ACCPAC. Its revenues of approximately £45m generated an operating margin of approximately 26%.

Softline’s total revenues were approximately £39m, with an operating margin of approximately 22%. Of these revenues, approximately £35m was generated in the Rest of World region at an operating margin of approximately 24%. The remainder of Softline’s contribution was in North America and has been allocated accordingly within the Group results.

*Figures stated at constant exchange rates based on the average for the year ended 30 September 2004.

Geographical segments as revised for 2004 interim results.

Kontakt

Sage GmbH
Emil-von-Behring-Str. 8-14
D-60439 Frankfurt am Main
Marita Schultz
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