Intuit in the red despite sales growth

The San Francisco-based company, a manufacturer of management accounting software such as Quickbooks, said revenue for 2000 had increased by 15% from just over a $1bn (£680m) to $1.26bn (£867m), due to strong performance in three of its businesses – namely Quicken loans, payroll and consumer tax.

Revenues for these three businesses climbed 26% – accounting for almost half of the group’s sales during the year. The payroll operations achieved sales of $118m (£81m), up 57%, while Quicken Loans doubled sales to $113m (£77.8m).

But an increase in overall costs resulted in an operating loss of $82m (£56m) compared with last year when annual profits stood at a healthy $305m (£210m).

In 2000 Intuit benefited from pre-tax gain of $481m (£331m) on marketable securities, which did not recur this year. Furthermore, 2001 net results were hit by a pre-tax charge of $98m (£67m) on marketable securities and a $89m (£61.3m) charge for acquisition-related costs.

Results for the fourth quarter of 2001 were better than analyst expectations. Despite an 18% increase in revenues from $162m (£111m) to $191m (£131m), losses for the three months totalled $61m, compared with a profit of $17m (£11.7m) for the same quarter last year.

According to the company, this was due to a drop in tax preparation work combined with expenses generated from the development of new products and services, which continued at ‘relatively consistent levels’.

Despite the loss, president and CEO Steve Bennett remained upbeat about Intuit. He said the company was ‘executing on its strategy to drive profit and revenue growth’.

In March this year Intuit launched a revamped version 9.0 of its Quickbooks and Quickbooks Pro 2001 financial management and accounting software.


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