News Column

Charleston tech firm Blackbaud closes out 2013 with higher sales, profit

February 13, 2014

By John McDermott, The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C.



Feb. 13--Charleston software developer Blackbaud Inc capped off a year of change with a strong close-out.

The Daniel Island-based technology company said Wednesday its profit for the last three months of 2013 nearly tripled to $11.8 million from the 2012 fourth quarter. Revenue for the period climbed 12 percent to $135 million.

"In the fourth quarter, the Blackbaud team delivered a solid finish to a very strong overall year in 2013," said finance chief Tony Boor, who pulled double-duty as interim CEO during those three months. "Each of our business units performed well, with double-digit growth of recurring revenue in both our enterprise and general markets business units."

For the full year, the company cracked the half-billion threshold in sales at $503 million, a gain of about 13 percent from 2012. The bulk of that increase -- about $60 million -- came from a jump in software subscription fees.

At the same time, the company trimmed its expenses in 2013 by almost $6 million, or about 3 percent.

Blackbaud develops and sells products and services for nonprofit groups around the globe to help with their fund-raising efforts. It's the largest business in the world in that field.

The company recently came under new leadership with the hiring of Mike Gianoni, who started as president and chief executive officer in mid-January.

"Our financial goals for 2014 reflect a heightened level of operating investments in areas that we expect will fuel accelerated growth, strengthen our competitive advantages and enable greater efficiencies throughout our global operations," Gianoni said in a statement.

Blackbaud's stock took a hit in late October after it warned of "a moderate reduction" in 2014 profit margins as it moves to beef up research and development and expand its sales force.

Boor and Gianoni will review the latest results with analysts during a conference call Thursday.

The company released earnings and announced a quarterly dividend of 12 cents after the U.S. stock market closed Wednesday. Shares of Blackbaud slipped 12 cents to finish the session at $32.

Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.

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(c)2014 The Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.)

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Source: Post & Courier (Charleston, SC)


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