New markets triple Diligent's profit

JASON KRUPP
Last updated 18:15 01/03/2013

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Diligent, the governance software firm embroiled in a mistaken executive options debacle, has almost tripled its full year profits on the back of new market expansion.

The US-based but New Zealand listed firm reported a net profit of US$9.1 million for the 12-months ending December 31, up from US$3.3m a year ago.

That was driven up a 144 per cent increase in revenue to US$43.7m, with momentum picking up as the company entered into new markets in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, which now account for 32 of the firm's gross earnings.

The firm said sales in the traditional US and Canadian markets remained robust.

The results, which were issued after the close of the market yesterday, represent the firm's second year of profitable operations, but have been overshadowed by the over issue of 4.1 million share options to chief executive Alex Sodi in 2009 and 2011.

In the results announcement chairman David Liptak said the firm was working to correct the issue, but "we expect that we will incur expense in 2013 for the cancellation of the affected options...".

Diligent shares closed 1 per cent lower at $5.20, their lowest level since December.

The firm said it's well poised to continue on its growth path in the year ahead, having chalked up new sales growth of US$26.3m in the current period, up 66 per cent on a year ago.

In addition, earnings from upgrades - which include subscription and installation fees - rose 26 per to $6.8m. Client retention rate stood at 97 per cent.

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- Fairfax Media

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