Accountancy software company Sage today launched itself as a portal aimed at helping small and medium businesses to get online.
The Newcastle based company, which today also announced pre tax profits of £35.5 million for the six months ended 31 March, 1999, said the principal objective of its new portal site is o get its two million customers up and running on the Web and on the road to ecommerce.
IBM is hosting the company's site and Sage is integrating IBM's Home Page Creator service with its software.
Paul Stobart, business development director at Sage, commented: "Whereas the majority of portal services are aimed at the general consumer, Sage.com is entirely focussed on the business community, forming a one stop shop for our customers' online needs."
Over the next few months, registered Sage.com users will be able to access a range of content, including live business and financial news feeds, business advice, as well as other Web based services including credit referencing, parcel tracking and electronic banking facilities.
Sage also launched a free service, exclusively for its own customers, which will enable them to create their own Web sites using tools available on its site together with free support for its UK customers.
The company also announced today that profit for the six month period ended 31 March was up 48 per cent to £35.5 million.
Turnover grew to £132.5 million, compared to £88.8 million in 1998, with earnings per share up 40 per cent to 20.58p.
Company chairman Michael Jackson commented: "The outlook for all the businesses in the group continues to be favourable. The second half has started strongly and I am confident about the prospects for the full year."
He added, "Our ambition is to become a leading marketer of online products and services to the small and medium sized business community."
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