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Current as of 19/12/14 07:40PM NZST

Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Xero shares rise on US listing talk

Software company will reach a position this financial year where it can look towards an American float: chief.

Chief executive Rod Drury says a US listing would be more about getting exposure for Xero's brand than raising money. Photo / Dean Purcell
Chief executive Rod Drury says a US listing would be more about getting exposure for Xero's brand than raising money. Photo / Dean Purcell

Software company Xero's share price was up almost 4 per cent this morning in the wake of yesterday's annual meeting.

The company said during that meeting it will get to a position this financial year where it can make a listing on a US stock exchange "when the timing is deemed right",

The cloud-accounting software company was forecasting subscription revenue growth of 80 per cent for this financial year, chief executive Rod Drury said yesterday.

"This is on a constant dollar basis," Drury said.

This is similar to the targets the company predicted and met in the 2014 financial year. Subscription revenue was $66.6 million in the year ended March 31, up 84 per cent.

Xero shares were up 3.9 per cent in morning trading. Shortly before 11:30am they were trading at $24.25 each, up 3.19 per cent.

Xero held its annual meeting in Wellington yesterday and released its presentations for this to the New Zealand stock exchange.

"During the year we will pass through US$100 million in annualised committed monthly revenue positioning us for a US listing when the timing is deemed right," Drury said in the presentation.

Asked if a listing could happen during this financial year, Drury said the timing was more likely to be right after this period but possibly in the 2015 calendar year.

He said the company had not decided on its preferred exchange.

"Now we've sort of said that we are considering if we can work with bankers and do all of that stuff."

Xero chairman Chris Liddell said market factors were another matter Xero had to consider which the company had no control over.

"As our business continues to develop, a logical step for Xero would see us list on a US exchange," Liddell said.

"While this will be dependent on internal and external conditions at the time, this would be a significant milestone in becoming a truly global company," he said. "We should all be proud that Xero, as a New Zealand company, is playing on the international stage at this level."

Drury said a listing would be more about getting exposure for Xero's brand than raising money.

Xero in May this year passed $100 million in annualised subscription revenue for the first time.

The company had 334,000 customers, Drury said in his presentation, up 50,000 from March 31 this year.

Xero had 870 staff, up from 758 at March 31. The company had hired 390 people in the past year.

At March 31 the company had 18,000 US customers, less than 1 per cent of the 29 million small businesses in that country.

Xero's biggest market segment is Australia where, at March 31, it had 109,000 customers or a 5 per cent share of small businesses.

In Britain Drury said the company was already a leading cloud accounting provider.

In this country Xero had 102,000 customers at March 31, about 23 per cent of the small business market.

Xero shares closed down 41c yesterday at $23.50.

See the report here:

- NZ Herald

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