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Sage Earnings Foretell 2017 Investments

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Small business cloud accounting company Sage Group has released promising figures from its fiscal year (FY) 2016 performance, and reports say the firm will continue to pursue growth via strategic investments.

Reports Wednesday (Nov. 30) said Sage met its previous guidance with its FY 2016 figures and plans to save more than $62 million in the fiscal year ahead. Sage saw a 6.1 percent increase in organic revenue during the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, the company said, reaching nearly $2 billion. Sales during the year increased 9 percent despite slowing growth in Asia and North America.

The company said it set a target of 6 percent organic revenue growth for the fiscal year ahead.

Sage chief executive Stephen Kelly said the firm will look to launch 27 new cloud-based solutions over the next year, with a broader vision of a world in which business owners “have zero back-office admin” by the end of the decade.

“By then, our ambition is that — certainly for startups and entrepreneurs — they will be in a world with Sage where they have no financial administration but can run their business from a smartphone in the palm of their hands through whatever platform they choose,” the executive told investors.

In an effort to make that goal a reality, Sage will be targeting strategic investments in new technologies as well as in its customer-facing employees.

“The cloud is the future, and we want to provide frictionless movement of money where it is easy to pay suppliers and employees and collect cash, which historically have been very fragmented processes and take a typical business owner four hours a week,” Kelly explained.

According to reports, performance across Europe, Africa and Brazil are strong, with Sage planning significant investments in Spain; the company plans to release five new products into that market alone. They will be the company’s first new product launches in seven years in Spain, reports said.

Sage’s FY 2016 performance was strong despite a data breach that hit the company in August, in which the details of nearly 300 of its U.K. employees were exposed.

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