British software maker Sage Group Plc said trading for the first quarter were in-line with its expectations with improved revenue performance continuing from the second half of last year.

The provider of business management software to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) said the organisation changes announced in December have been implemented smoothly.

This, together with our strong business model and geographically diverse customer base ensures we are well positioned to capitalise on the many growth opportunities we have within the business, said chief executive Guy Berruyer.

As at Dec. 31, 2010, Sage said net debt reduced to 187.0 million pounds ($295 million) from 219.8 million pounds at Sept. 30, 2010, reflecting continued strong cash generation. The Group said it remains comfortably within its banking covenants with committed financing facilities in place until 2015 to 2017.

For the full year ended Sept. 30, the company reported a 20 percent rise in pretax profit and it saw return to organic revenue growth in the second half and improving market for software and software-related services.

Shares of the company ended Tuesday's regular trading session at 283.30 pence on the London Stock Exchange.