Economic conditions in parts of Europe also impacted on the first-half results, with “macro headwinds” in Spain, where Sage suffered an 8% contraction in organic revenues.
Harrison said: “Market conditions in southern Europe – France and Spain – are tough. But Germany and the UK are growing – it’s not a Europe-wide slowdown.
“In France and Spain we are protecting margins and holding our nerve and continuing to invest in online initiatives and payment initiatives.
“We have seen, off a low base, that online revenues have grown by more than 50% and payments in the UK by over 20%.” Sage, which last week announced a link-up with Microsoft to develop business resource planning applications on its cloud platform, said that revenues in the US were flat.
But, in the UK, sales of the entry-level SageOne software – which will be launched in the US shortly – doubled in the last six months.
Berruyer said: “We are very pleased, it’s an offer for micro customers. The vast majority are new to the Sage franchise.”
He also pointed out that the rate of attrition was “pretty stable”.
“Some customers go bust, some retire, some merge, some move away from Sage sometimes,” he said.
“There is a more attrition attributable to businesses going under. There is less from businesses merging or moving to competitors.”
Sage added 129,000 paying customers, down from 131,000 extra a year earlier, and renewal rates for support contracts remained at 81%.