Sage Group

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The Sage Group
Type Public limited company
Traded as LSESGE
Industry Software
Founded 1981
Founder(s) David Goldman
Paul Muller
Graham Wylie
Headquarters Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom
Number of locations Offices in 24 countries
Area served Worldwide
Key people Donald Brydon CBE (Chairman)
Guy Berruyer (CEO)
Products Accounting,
CRM,
Varying according to country, MRP
Revenue £1,376.1 million (2013)[1]
Operating income £180.5 million (2013)[1]
Profit £47.5 million (2013)[1]
Employees 12,600 (2013)[2]
Website www.sage.com

The Sage Group plc, commonly known as Sage, is a multinational enterprise software company headquartered in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. It is the world's third-largest supplier of enterprise resource planning software (behind Oracle and SAP), the largest supplier to small businesses, and has 6.1 million customers worldwide.[3] It has offices in 24 countries.[4] The company is the patron of The Sage Gateshead music venue in Gateshead.[5]

Sage is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

History[edit]

1981 to 2000[edit]

The Company was founded by David Goldman together with Paul Muller and Graham Wylie in 1981 in Newcastle, to develop estimating and accounting software for small businesses.[6]

A student at Newcastle University, Graham Wylie, took a summer job with an accountancy firm funded by a government small business grant to write software to help their record keeping. This became the basis for Sage Line 50. Next, hired by David Goldman to write some estimating software for his printing company, Campbell Graphics, Graham used the same accounting software to produce the first version of Sage Accounts. David was so impressed that he hired Graham and academic Paul Muller to form Sage, selling their software first to printing companies, and then to a wider market through a network of resellers.[7]

In 1984 the Company launched Sage software, a product for the Amstrad PCW word processor,[6] which used the CP/M operating system. Sage software sales escalated in that year from 30 copies a month to over 300.[6] The Company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1989.[6]

In 1994 Paul Walker was appointed Chief Executive. In 1998 Sage’s Professional Accountants Division was established. In 1999 Sage entered FTSE 100[6] and launched a dedicated Irish division, based in Dublin as well as its e-business strategy. In that same year the UK acquisition of Tetra saw Sage enter the mid-range business software market.[8][9]

2000 to 2010[edit]

The Sage Gateshead music venue, located on the banks of the River Tyne, is named after the company.

In 2000 Sage shares were named ‘best performing share of the 90s’ in the UK business press.[10] In 2001 Sage acquired Interact Commerce Inc.[11] and entered the CRM/contact management market and in 2002 Sage won 'Business of The Year' in National Business Awards.[12] Also that year Sage sponsored the new Music Centre in Gateshead for £6m - now known as The Sage Gateshead - the largest ever UK arts/business sponsorship.[13] By 2003 Sage was the only remaining technology stock in the FTSE 100 Index. In 2003 at age 43 Graham Wylie retired with 108.5 million shares in Sage worth £146m. He was rated Britain's 109th richest person in the 2002 Sunday Times' rich list.[7]

Tony Hobson joined the Sage board of directors in June, 2004 and became Chairman in May 2007.[14]

2010 to present[edit]

On 19 April 2010, Sage announced that its CEO, Paul Walker, had indicated an interest in stepping down from his position, which he had held for 16 years.[15] The Financial Times reported that his departure would lead to speculation over Sage’s mergers and acquisitions, which have been a key component to the group’s growth in the past 20 years. In an interview with The Times, the CEO of Sage's UK business stated that: "Acquisitions are part of our DNA".[16]

Walker was one of the longest serving CEOs of a FTSE100 company, only exceeded by Sir Martin Sorrell at WPP and Tullow Oil's Aidan Heavey.[17] According to the Daily Mail, Walker is likely to have left Sage with as much as £21 million given his shares, bonus plan and salary.[18] Walker left the company on 1 December 2010.[19]

On 1 October 2010 Guy Berruyer became CEO of Sage Group; Berruyer had previously been CEO of Sage's Mainland Europe & Asia operations.[19]

On February 15, 2013, Sage announced that Accel-KKR intended to buy Sage Nonprofit Solutions, the division of Sage that produces software designed for nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies.[20]

Operations[edit]

Founded and headquartered in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, the company initially grew organically, but more recently has grown primarily through acquisitions. In 2004 the company's new headquarters was completed in the Great Park area of Newcastle upon Tyne; the company was previously located at Benton Park House. It now operates worldwide. The company's US headquarters are in Irvine, California, the Canadian headquarters are in Richmond, Canada and the French and Continental European headquarters are in Paris, France.

Sage has 6.1 million customers and 13,400 employees across the world. Key industry focus includes: Healthcare; HR & Payroll; Construction/ Real-Estate; Transport/ Distribution; Payment Processing; Accountancy; Not-for-Profit; Manufacturing; Retail; Automotive Distribution.[21]

Financial information[edit]

Financial results are as follows:[1]

Sept year-end, £ millions 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Revenue 552 560 688 760 936 1,158 1,295 1,439 1,435 1,334 1,340 1,376
Reported growth n/a n/a n/a n/a +12% +30% +7% +11% 0% 4% 0% 3%
Underlying growth n/a n/a n/a n/a +7% +7% +3% -4% -1% 4% 2% 4%
EBITA n/a n/a n/a 202 249 283 300 321 365 365 366 180
Pre-Tax Profit 129 151 181 194 221 223 241 267 319 331 334 164

Products[edit]

The company's product set can be divided into: Accounting; Payroll; Customer Relationship Management (CRM); Financial forecasting; Payment processing; Job costing; Human Resources; Business intelligence; Taxation and other products for accountants; Business stationery; Development platforms; E-business; Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

Sage's notable products include ProvideX, Sage 300 ERP, Master Production Schedule, Sage 50 Accounting, Sage 100 ERP and Pastel Accounting.

Sponsorships[edit]

A Marussia F1 promotional car on display in Sage's Newcastle headquarters.

The Sage Group is a patron of The Sage Gateshead, a Tyneside music venue designed by Sir Norman Foster. The Sage Gateshead was completed in 2004 at a cost of £70 million, and has since become a main sight on the River Tyne. It is primarily used for hosting music concerts, but is also used for other events including conferences.[13]

In 2008 Sage funded the revival of The Krypton Factor television series for ITV as a part of the Business Brain Training campaign.[22]

For the 2012 Formula One season Sage were an official supplier for the Marussia F1 team, and for the 2013 season the Sage ERP X3 logo was placed on the car.[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Preliminary Results 2013". The Sage Group plc. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "About Us". The Sage Group plc. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  3. ^ "Competitive Profile". The Sage Group plc. Retrieved 2010-09-03. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Sage Investor Relations Website". Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Arts funding in recession". Incorporated Society of Musicians. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "History". Sage. Retrieved 2010-10-30. 
  7. ^ a b Vaughan-Adams, Liz (2003-04-12). "Sage founder retires at 43 to get married and enjoy his £146m fortune". The Independent on Sunday (London). Retrieved 2009-03-15. 
  8. ^ "Sage buys Tetra". London: The Independent. 1999-03-02. Retrieved 2010-10-30. 
  9. ^ Accounting for Sage's move
  10. ^ "Sage looks risky in an uncertain business climate". [dead link]
  11. ^ Sage buys Interact Commerce
  12. ^ "Business of the year 2002". Red Hot Curry. 2002-10-29. Archived from the original on 2004-04-04. Retrieved 2010-11-03. 
  13. ^ a b "Software sages of Newcastle". Global Technology Forum. 2007-04-23. Retrieved 2010-11-03. 
  14. ^ "Directors' Biographies". Sage Group plc. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  15. ^ Walker to step down as Sage chief executive
  16. ^ "Business big shot: Paul Stobart". London: The Times. 2010-04-20. Retrieved 2010-11-03. 
  17. ^ "Sage CEO Paul Walker to stand down after 26 years at company". London: Daily Mail. 2010-04-19. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  18. ^ Duke, Simon (2010-04-19). "Sage chief Paul Walker is set to exit with £21m". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  19. ^ a b "Group Chief Executive". Sage Group plc. 2010-07-06. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  20. ^ "Sage Nonprofit Solutions To Be Acquired By Accel-KKR". TheNonProfitTimes. February 15, 2013. 
  21. ^ Reuters profile of Sage
  22. ^ "The Krypton Factor". Business Brain Training. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  23. ^ Marussia F1 team ties up with `Sage’ India in F1, 27 January 2012

External links[edit]