(Adds shares, reaction)
LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Britain’s Sage saw a 7.6 percent rise in first-quarter organic service revenue to 465 million pounds ($599 million) sending shares in the software company higher on Thursday.
The stock was up more than 8 percent in early trade as analysts said Sage had accelerated growth in recurring revenue, the main area of focus identified by new CEO Steve Hare.
Recurring revenue increased by 10.5 percent to 387 million pounds in the first quarter to end-December, ahead of its 8-9 percent target for the year, albeit against a relatively easy first-quarter comparative a year earlier.
The rise was underpinned by software subscription growth of 27.7 percent to 237 million pounds, said Sage, which supplies software to small and medium sized businesses.
Sage reiterated guidance it set out at in November calling for constrained revenue growth in the short term as it focuses on subscription services. ($1 = 0.7769 pounds) (Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by James Davey and Jason Neely)