Shares in Sage group were up on the FTSE 100 in afternoon trading ahead of the business software company's half year results, expected tomorrow.

In January the group said that trading across all of its regions had been in line with expectations. In addition to this net debt was reported to be coming down, thanks to greater cash generation.

Keith Bowman, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said, "A slow but gradual recovery in sales is forecast. The group's performance in the US is seen as particularly important, whilst the pursuit of a progressive dividend policy is expected to continue. Ahead of the results, market consensus opinion currently denotes a strong field."

By 16:25 shares in Sage were up 0.53 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 286.50 pence per share.