17 Apr 2013

Surge in Diligent revenue

8:32 am on 17 April 2013

Diligent Board Member Services says it will consider paying a dividend to shareholders but remains coy about a possible listing on the Nasdaq in New York.

The New Zealand-listed firm helps company boards keep track of their papers online.

It says revenue surged by more than four fifths to $17.5 million in the first three months of the year, compared with the same period last year.

Cumulative sales to existing customers, which include licence and subscription fees, increased four-fifths to $68 million, while new sales were flat, rising 2% overall to nearly $8 million. Strong sales growth in its much smaller Asian and Europe markets offset weaker sales in its main US market.

Chief executive Alex Sodi said the revenues have been driven by a high client retention rate.

He said the retention rate has remained above 97, which he believed was the best in the sector.

He said with a cash balance of $42 million the board was not ruling out paying a dividend to shareholders this year.

The company said it has now resolved its corporate governance issues over a registered auditor and executive remuneration deals which breached NZX rules.

The chairman David Liptak said the board was still looking at listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

David Liptak said the matter of complying with NZX rules had been complicated by the fact that its US auditor, Deloitte, was not approved in New Zealand.

Alex Sodi said he remained committed to the company, after negotiating a new performance-based remuneration package as compensation for stock options that were cancelled because they breached NZX rules.

Shares in Diligent have fallen 2 cents to $6.33.