Xero seeks short-term cash cover

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Xero, the cloud accounting software firm, expects to make more losses in its push to become a global player and may raise more cash to pay for those plans, according to its prospectus for a secondary listing on the ASX.

The Wellington-based company lodged its prospectus for admission on the official list of the Australian Securities Exchange as a secondary listing, but doesn’t plan to raise fresh capital at once.

Xero said it expects to make more losses and may seek more funds to pay for its global aspirations, according to risks relating to investing in the firm.

“Xero will be very much focusing on establishing and then growing its business,” the prospectus said. “Accordingly, it expects to make further losses and have negative cash flow in at least the short term.”

The company abandoned its goal to reach profitability last year, instead pursuing a growth strategy that’s seen first-half revenue more than double to more than $16.7 million in the six months ended Sept. 30.

Xero said it may need additional funding to maintain or expand its business, which the prospectus identifies as a risk the possibility such funding might not be on favourable terms, if it’s available at all.

Chairman Sam Knowles said the ASX listing will help facilitate Australian investors in the firm, where interest in the business as an investment has grown with its expanding customer base across the Tasman.

“Australia has over 1,200 accounting partners for Xero countrywide and has recently surpassed New Zealand as the fastest growing region for Xero internationally,” Knowles said.

“As a consequence, the interest in Xero as an investment opportunity has also increased.”

Xero shares were unchanged at $5.35 today, and have surged 94 percent this year. The stock is closely held, with 58 shareholders of the 2,924 owning 82 percent. Founder Rod Drury holds 21 percent and director Craig Winkler a further 20 percent.

The company tagged Drury’s retention as a key risk, saying the company had been dependent on him in its initial stages, and that his loss “for whatever reason, could have an adverse effect on Xero and its future prospects.”

By Paul McBeth - BusinessDesk

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