Xero triples revenue, but posts loss

Greater staff and marketing costs contribute to loss

Xero has tripled its revenue for the 2010-11 financial year, posting operating revenue of $9.34 million, up from $3.15 million the previous year.

However, the online accounting provider is still yet to make a profit, posting a loss of $7.5 million for the year, compared with $8.4 million last year.

The company has set a target of breaking even by the final quarter of this year.

The results announcement for the 2010-11 year, posted on the NZX this morning, notes “From February, Xero has exceeded $1m per month of revenue and the annualised subscription run rate is approximately $14m.

“Paying business customers have doubled from 17,000 to more than 36,000 across 100 countries as at 31 March, 2011.”

The commentary notes the countdown to the break-even target.

“Xero continues to carefully balance investment in its existing business operations and the pursuit of growth opportunities as the company drives towards monthly break-even.

“The company retains a strong cash position as it refines its US strategy and begins to create a presence in the vast US market.”

Xero had $16.9 million cash in the bank at the end of March.

In the statements of cashflows and financial position, the commentary notes: “Net cash used for operations amounted to $5,220,000 compared to $6,795,000 for the previous year.

“Higher customer numbers drove the increase in receipts from customers.

“This was more than the associated increase in costs from the growth in staff numbers, marketing and IT infrastructure costs.”

The income statement notes: “Operating expenses relating to suppliers and employees totalled $18,017,000 for the year ended 31 March compared with $12,874,000 in the prior year.

“This 40 percent increase was primarily driven by growth in advertising and marketing activity; IT infrastructure costs from higher customer numbers and a full year of the Akamai content delivery service.”

Staff numbers rose from 90 to 113 during the year.

The push into the US, following expansion into Australia and the UK, was a key focus during the year, the commentary notes: “Xero is making good progress building key partnerships in the US and is leveraging the connections and advice provided by its advisors and strategic partner Peter Thiel.

“Several key Xero staff are in the process of relocating to the US and the company is also recruiting in that market, to engage talent with specialist knowledge and experience.”

Thiel, a veteran IT investor and co-founder of PayPal, put NZ$4 million into Xero last year.

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