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Xero records heavy loss as expansion weighs

The net loss of listed accounting software provider Xero has more than doubled in a year it embarked on expansion and breaking into the US market.

The New Zealand-based company lost $NZ35 million ($32.4 million) in the 12 months ending March 31, compared with $14.4 million in the previous year.

In a statement to the NZX on Friday, Xero said a strong New Zealand dollar had weighed on operating revenue, which was up 83 per cent to $NZ38.4 million. It said the increase would have been stronger, about 92 per cent, on a constant currency basis.

But the company, which is also listed on the ASX, was upbeat about its outlook. In the past 12 months, it has almost doubled its staff, from 382 to 758 employees, and has $NZ210 million in cash to fund further growth.

On Tuesday it signed a deal to work with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey's Square in the US. The agreement will allow transaction data from Square's payments devices to be integrated with Xero accounting systems.

The deal with Square came amid fierce competition between Xero and rival MYOB, which has launched a payments device based on technology from Square's Australian rival Mint Wireless.


Xero chief executive Rod Drury said in a statement to the NSX that Xero's monthly committed subscriptions had grown to $NZ7.8 million or $NZ93 million a year. This compares with $NZ51.5 million in the previous year, an 81 per cent increase.

Mr Drury said Xero was now the leading accounting software provider in New Zealand and the leading online accounting software provider in Australia and the UK, with annualised subscriptions of $NZ29 million, $NZ41 million and $NZ14 million respectively in those countries.

''With strong growth expected to continue in these markets, Xero turns its focus on the important US market,'' Mr Drury said.

He said entry into the US market had been completed successfully and allowed Xero to raise an additional $NZ180 million of capital last October.