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MBS MAKES MONEY Microsoft Business Solutions posted its first profit as a division, reporting $10 million in operating earnings for the second quarter ended December 31.

The earnings compared to a loss of $17 million a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter was $242 million, up from $207 million in last year's corresponding period. MBS president Doug Burgum said that because of planned expenditures, including a major advertising push, the unit might not make money in the next two quarters.

VERNI TOPS $1 MILLION

Partner Insights

The annual compensation for Sage Software CEO Ron Verni soared past the $1 million mark in fiscal 2005, according to the annual report published by the unit's parent, the Sage Group.

Verni's pay was $1,478,000 for the year ended September 30, up 54.5 percent from $963,000 for fiscal 2005. Verni's 2005 salary was $600,000, while the total was boosted by a bonus of $737,000. In 2004, his annual salary was $550,000 and his bonus was $413,000.

FRX DROPS RESELLERS

Microsoft subsidiary FRx Software has ended its Analytic Solutions Provider program.

On February 3, FRx President Chris Scherpenseel informed resellers that committing "additional investment in this program in terms of capital, resources, and time would not yield the financial results that our parent company have come to expect." Resellers who immediately end their agreement can receive reimbursement for sales and marketing expenses.

SAGE SELLS CPAS

Sage Software has sold its Sage Practice Solutions, the former CPASoftware based in Pensacola, Fla., to CCH as the two companies continued to extend an alliance.

The U.K.-based Sage Group acquired CPASoftware in May 2002 for roughly $16 million. The Florida operation had about $7.4 million annual revenue at the time. Terms of the sale to CCH were not disclosed. Sage Software CEO Ron Verni said that CPAS was the "sort of odd piece of the puzzle" and the only place where CCH and Sage competed.

SAGE RESULTS: A GEOGRAPHIC BREAKDOWN

Percent of total region

Revenue

North America - 34.9%

United Kingdom - 35.7%

Mainland Europe - 22.3%

Rest of the World - 7.1%

Operating Income

North America - 41.2%

United Kingdom - 25.9%

Mainland Europe - 25%

Rest of the World - 7.9%

Although North America was the biggest revenue-producing region for the Sage Group, in fiscal 2005, the United Kingdom continued to be the top region in operating profits.

Source: Sage Group

EPICOR NET JUMPS

Epicor Software, an Irvine, Calif.-based financial software vendor, more than doubled its earnings as sales rose by 28.7 percent for the year ended December 31.

Net earnings for 2005 were $54.2 million, compared to $25.3 million for 2004. Revenue for the most recently ended period was $291.1 million, up from $226.2 million a year earlier. Chairman George Klaus said the company had double-digit growth in organic revenue, including strong increases in software license fees and consulting revenue.

SAGE MID-MARKET REVENUE JUMPS

Revenue for Sage Software's mid-market division hit $377 million for the year ended September 30, as the company reported the unit's revenue grew 14.5 percent over fiscal 2004.

Organic revenue for the division rose 7 percent. Sage also reported that the small business division had revenue of $177.9 million for 2005, an 11 percent increase over the prior year with organic revenue growing by 4 percent.

SERENIC PROFITS

Serenic Corp., which markets the Serenic Navigator nonprofit accounting software line, reported $133,438 in net income for the third quarter ended November 30, compared to a year-earlier loss of $118,808.

The company, based in Edmonton, Alberta, is parent to the Englewood, Colo.-based Serenic Software. The other subsidiaries are VisionPay, and Accurate Financial Exchange.

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