Xero lifts annual loss 5%, predicts bigger one next year

BUSINESSDESK: Online accounting software start-up Xero's annual net loss swelled 5% to $7.9 million even as its annualised committed revenue rose 82% to $25.5 million anc customer numbers more than doubled.

Xero said its loss in the current year is likely to be even larger as it builds the business, planning for significant growth in offshore markets.

While operating revenue rose 107% to $19.3 million in the year ended March 31, operating expenses jumped 58% to $28.4 million.

Of total revenue, $10.3 million was from New Zealand customers, $5 million from Australia, $2.7 million from Britain and the rest from the rest of the world.

The company said to support its growth it had increased staff numbers from 113 to 194, a quarter of them based offshore, and new offices were opened in San Francisco, Canberra and Milton Keynes in Britain.

As well, Xero relocated to larger premises in Melbourne, Auckland and Wellington.

“Xero is fundamentally disrupting the accounting software industry by providing both small business and professional accountant tools on a single platform with common data,” company founder Rod Drury said.

“Traditionally, the incumbent vendors have 'double-dipped' by charging both accountants and small businesses for separate tools that process the same data.

"Our true partnering approach and 'single ledger' platform is therefore compelling for accountants as it enables significant productivity gains and saves them money,” he said.

More than 3600 accounting firms are among Xero's 78,000 customers at March 31, up from 36,000 a year earlier.

The company had $39 million of cash at March 31after raising $35.6 million earlier this year from a mix of private placements and a share purchase plan, up from $16.9 million at March 31 last year.

Net cash outflow from operations in the latest year was $4.9 million, down from $5.2 million last year.

Xero shares [NZX:XRO] fell 5 cents to $4.20 in the wake of its report, valuing the company at $445.1 million compared with the $52.2 million net assets on its balance sheet.

The shares traded as low as $2.04 in July last year and peaked at $4.50 earlier this month.