14 Oct 2013

Slower Diligent client growth 'may be due to accounting woes'

7:15 am on 14 October 2013

An analyst says the slowdown in Diligent's new client growth could be due to the company's accounting woes.

On Friday, the company said it signed 122 net new client agreements in the September quarter, down from 168 in the same quarter last year and its fifth successive quarter of slower growth.

Diligent says it can't report any financial results until it has sorted out its accounting issues. It is having to restate its accounts for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 financial years and until that is done it can not provide any financial information for this year either.

Milford Asset Management analyst Mark Warminger says the slowing momentum is a little surprising in light of the company's previous very strong growth.

He says the accounting issues may be causing potential clients to wait until Diligent has a clean bill of health before deciding whether to take the product.

Mr Warminger says it could also be because Diligent had a very strong uptake in the US off the back of some regulatory changes there, but the same trends are not occurring in the rest of the world so it is more difficult for the company to grow in Europe and the UK.