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Sage share price outperforms as group appoints new finance chief

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Shares in The Sage Group (LON:SGE) have climbed higher in London this morning as the software specialist announced that it had appointed Close Brothers’ former finance director Jonathan Howell to the top finance job. The move came after the group’s CFO Steve Hare was appointed as chief executive earlier this year, following the departure of Stephen Kelly.

As of 09:49 GMT, Sage’s share price had added 0.86 percent to 584.00p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.35 percent lower at 7,037.62 points. The group’s shares have given up more than 23 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 3.6-percent dip in the Footsie.

Sage appoints new finance chief

The Sage Group announced in a statement this morning that it had appointed  Jonathan Howell to the role of chief financial officer, with effect from December 10. Howell has most recently been group finance director of Close Brothers Group for 10 years, and prior to this, CFO of the London Stock Exchange Group (LON:LSE).

“I am excited to be joining Sage as CFO at this time in the group’s continued transition to a SaaS [software-as-a-service] business and I look forward to supporting the team as we sharpen the focus on customers, colleagues and innovation,” Howell commented in the statement. His appointment comes after the FTSE 100 group recently warned that its organic growth rate might decrease in the short-term as it transitions to a subscription model.

Analysts on software specialist

The 16 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Sage for the Financial Times have a median target of 575.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 870.00p and a low estimate of 465.00p. As of December 1, the consensus forecast amongst 19 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group advises investors to hold their position in the company.

As of 10:05 GMT, Tuesday, 04 December, The Sage Group plc share price is 584.00p.

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