Xero adds 450,000 subscribers and posts nearly NZ$20m in profit for 2021

Closing its 2021 financial year, Xero now boasts 2.74 million subscribers.

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Cloud accounting firm cum small business platform Xero has reported its financial results for the 12 months to March 2021, reporting net profit of NZ$19.8 million, an increase of NZ$16.4 million from last year.

In EBITDA terms, Xero saw a 39% year-on-year increase to NZ$191.2 million.

Revenue for the year was NZ$849 million, up 18% year-on-year, while annualised monthly recurring revenue grew 17% to NZ$963.6 million.

During the reported period, subscribers increased by 20% -- 456,000 -- to number 2.74 million.

"The past year has brought home to many people in small business the need to understand in real-time their financial position and how it may change," CEO Steve Vamos said.

"The value and importance our customers place on their subscription and connection to the broader Xero community is increasing."

Vamos said small businesses make up more than 90% of businesses in the markets Xero operates in, and represent a significant contribution to economic activity, jobs, and the community.

"Looking ahead we believe small business will be a major driver of economic recovery in a post-pandemic world," he added.

Broken down by market, Australian subscribers grew by 22% in FY21 to reach almost 1.12 million, with Xero saying demand for its revised starter plan and increased partner channel adoption helped drive Australia's "best ever year" for subscriber growth. Revenue was up 20% in Australia.

UK subscribers, meanwhile, totalled 720,000, an increase of 17%. Revenue in the region grew 22%.

New Zealand subscribers also grew by 14% in the year to 446,000. Xero said its home market recorded the best full-year net subscriber performance in three years. Revenue increased by 12%.

North American subscribers grew by 18% in the year to 285,000 and revenue increased by 2%. Meanwhile, "rest of world" subscribers grew by 40% to 175,000. Xero said the largest contributors to subscribers were South Africa and Singapore. Rest of world revenue grew by 27%.

During the 12 months, Xero also acquired Australian invoice lending platform Waddle for AU$80 million, Denmark-based workforce management platform Planday for €183.5 million in a move to further grow its position in the small business market, and Sweden-based e-invoicing infrastructure business Tickstar for SEK150 million.

"As well as responding to our customers' needs during the pandemic, we continued to execute our strategy," Vamos added.

On Thursday, Xero told shareholders this strategy would see the company place more focus onto driving cloud accounting, growing its small business platform, and building its business for "global scale and innovation".

Xero onboarded over 550 new employees during the year and enhanced capabilities in product, technology, data, strategy, financial services, corporate development, and risk, it said.

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