23 May 2014

Xero still flush despite big loss

7:04 am on 23 May 2014

Accounting software company Xero has posted a $35.5 million annual loss but it still has more than $200 million in cash to fund future growth.

Xero chief executive Rod Drury.

Xero CEO Rod Drury Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The company had warned its loss for the 12 months ended March would be more than double the previous year's $14.4 million loss.

However, the firm's sales for the year jumped 83 percent to $70.1 million.

Xero chief executive Rod Drury said the company added 376 employees during the year to help drive its global growth, and that it still had more than $200 million in cash to fund future growth.

"So we kicked this year off with a team with so much more capability," Mr Drury said.

"While we've been doing that, it's a bit like building a bridge while you run over it, we've still been delivering this really, really strong growth.

"The other big thing people need to understand is that we've been really working hard in the last two years to get the Australia and UK growth engine going, so that's now been really successful."

The company had also done the market entry phase for the United States, and Mr Drury said it was pleased with progress there.

Mr Drury would not say how much cash his company expected to burn through this year but said staff were the biggest factor.

"We haven't put those numbers out but it's really hard to keep hiring at the speed we had. We did double our staff in the last year, so we probably can't double it again."

Xero was the biggest accounting software provider in New Zealand, the biggest online accounting software provider in Australia and in Britain, and it was "game on" for the US market during the next few years, he said.

"It's a really exciting business. Every year it just changes so much."

The share market currently values Xero at more than $4 billion.