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Xero slips into the NZX50

Xero slips into the NZX50
New Zealand business Xero has crept into the NZX 50, placing it among the largest publicly-listed companies in the country.

New Zealand business Xero has crept into the NZX 50, placing it among the largest publicly-listed companies in the country.

Rod Drury - Xero

Rod Drury of Xero. Photo: Alistair Guthrie

The online accounting firm was started in 2006 by entrepreneur Rod Drury and small business consultant Hamish Edwards, and first listed on the NZX in 2007.

In a blog post yesterday, Drury wrote: "I remember successful entrepreneur Sir Stephen Tindall saying once that it takes at least seven years to build a real business. At the time I thought 'nah, we’ll do it in three'. As almost always happens, the experience of someone that has done it before was much more accurate."

Xero has yet to turn a profit, however, which has been the catalyst for much of the criticism levelled at the company.

Drury said Xero was very motivated to reach the break even point.

"But because the space we are in is white-hot and we have been able to raise significant capital we have to spend that investment to grow the biggest long term business possible. If we didn’t spend the capital our investors would ask ‘why have you diluted me?’ Hopefully we’re making it easier for the next growth companies by showing that this strategy can work."

He said that since Xero first went public, it had raised more than $85m through its IPO and subsequent strategic placements and shareholder purchase plans (SPPs).

Xero is also asking shareholders to double the pool of fees available for directors, according to BusinessDesk, as it wants to add two board members. 

The maximum aggregate remuneration would increase to $500,000 from $250,000 to pay for two foreign directors, with scope for a third if necessary.

Xero doubled sales to $19 million in the year to March, but losses were up 6 percent to $7.9 million.

Customer numbers also more than doubled to 78,000.