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March 30, 2015

cloudBuy invests to to exploit its trump card

Last year was one of significant investment in technology and international expansion for e-commerce marketplace operator cloudBuy (LON:CBUY).

As a succession of contract wins announced recently indicates, cloudBuy has been focused on penetrating new markets at the expense of short-term growth in its traditional core markets of the UK public sector and the e-procurement market in Australia.

The results for 2014 do not reflect the results of these efforts, but chairman Ronald Duncan said the company expects £1mln of partnership investments to be recognised in the current year as revenues come on stream.

That should make a significant difference to the top line, given that revenue in 2014 was £2.12mln, down from £3.00mln in 2013.

Operating expenses before share-based payments increased to £5.87mln from £3.27mln in 2013, reflecting the increase in costs associated with the launch in Asia Pacific and the strengthening of the sales team.

The results of the sales push in Asia have been encouraging, and to date high profile marketplaces have been signed in Hong Kong, Singapore and India.

"These marketplaces are now beginning to generate their first revenues and our task in 2015 is to exploit this growth with sales and delivery teams, to generate further revenues," Duncan said.

The beefing up of the team led to an increase in administrative expenses, which rose to £5.87mln in 2014 from £3.27mln, contributing to a wider loss before tax of £4.63mln versus a loss the year before of £936,417.

The company is not proposing a dividend, but plans to adopt a progressive dividend in the future when the time is right.

Cash and cash equivalents increased to £4.55mln at the end of 2014 from £4.16mln a year earlier, following a successful placing in October to raise £4.3mln.

"The fast growing Asian market required an enhanced product in the form of 'marketplace in a box', which we have now developed. We expect our customers to launch shortly in Hong Kong, Singapore and India, giving us a USD$25mln per year revenue opportunity based on a low 10% take-up from the contracts signed to date," Duncan revealed.

The company's partnership with credit card leviathan Visa in Asia-Pacific remains a trump card for the company.

cloudBuy's solutions support the P2P (Procure to Pay) and Spend Management elements of Visa's push to accelerate e-commerce adoption in economies such as Hong Kong and Singapore.

"Our agreement with Visa has been extended with both a 5 year agreement and a widened scope of service. 14 banks across the US, Europe and the Asia Pacific are now promoting our products and services, giving us a strong presence in the most active e-commerce markets," Duncan said.


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