Pushpay annual loss increases as it invests in US faith sector

The company's loss widened to $7.5 million, or 16.2c a share, in the year ended March 31.

Pushpay Holdings [NZAX: PAY], whose mobile payment app is helping churches raise money from parishioners, widened its annual loss even as sales surged and it invested in future growth.

The Auckland-based company's loss widened to $7.5 million, or 16.2c a share, in the year ended March 31, from a loss of $1.6 million, or 6.10c, a year earlier, it said in a statement. Sales revenue soared to $4.8 million from $316,000 a year earlier, while expenses jumped to $12.7 million from $2 million.

Pushpay, which expects next month to migrate to the NZX main board from the smaller cap NZAX board, is targeting the US faith sector where there are more than 314,000 churches with an average 500 attendees each. In the first half of its current financial year, the company aims to push its merchant numbers above 2000. That's more than double the 996 merchants it had at the end of the 2015 financial year, 87% of which are in the US, and 158 merchants it had at the end of its 2014 year.

"Pushpay has become one of the leading providers of mobile commerce tools in its key target territory of the US faith sector," the company said. "Pushpay has been able to attract merchants from all over the US and has made successful inroads having established a strategic channel partnership with Renewed Vision and Church Community Builder."

In the past year, the company's employee expenses jumped to $4.4 million from $865,000 a year earlier, as its employee numbers increased 58% to 68.

"The increase in high-quality staff further supports our growth strategy in the US, allowing us to scale operations and sales," it said.

Pushpay's average revenue per merchant increased to $491 per month at the end of its financial year, from $446 per month as at December 31. It expects to increase this to more than $550 a month "over the medium term" as it secures a larger percentage of merchant payment transaction volumes, such as bookshops and cafes in the faith sector.

During the past year, the company bought Run The Red, a profitable business that allows merchants to communicate with consumers via smart mobile devices.

Shares in Pushpay last traded at $4.02 and have gained 45% so far this year. The company, which sold shares at $1 apiece before listing on the NZAX in August last year, expects to shift to the NZX main board on June 9.

The company won't pay an annual dividend.

(BusinessDesk)

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