Diligent Board Member Services, which provides software for company directors, continued its sales growth, chalking up a new record in the March quarter and recording its third successive operating profit. Its shares rose to a record high.

Diligent said first quarter sales of US$8.2 million ($10 million) compared with US$3 million in the same three months of 2011 and nearly equal to its revenue for all of calendar 2010. It also compares with US$6.5 million in the December quarter.

The software-as-a-service (Saas) company added 205 new clients in the latest quarter, up from 64 in the year-earlier quarter, including 65 companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange and 32 Nasdaq companies, it said.

Annualised sales, or likely recurring sales, at the end of the quarter totalled US$32.4 million.


Diligent, which held its annual shareholders' meeting in Auckland yesterday, said its cashflow position also improved by more than US$3.2 million to US$12.2 million at March 31.

The company expects these trends to continue through the year and Diligent's operating margins, profitability, sales and cash position should all improve. "We feel the company is well-positioned to deliver another year of exceptional performance and outstanding value to our clients and shareholders," it said.

Diligent now serves 1231 public and private companies with more than 1800 boards and 33,000 users throughout the world and said sales growth in Europe and Asia-Pacific, "in particular, was gratifying".

It now counts 189 Fortune 1000 companies as clients with 26 added in the latest quarter.

Client upgrades, which the company rates as an important indicator of customer satisfaction, totalled a record US$1.5 million.

The company said it recruited and trained three additional account managers, two new customer support people and three IT people in the three months to help handle the growth.

Diligent shares rose 19c to a record $3.69 yesterday from around $1 this time last year and from as low as 7c in March 2009.