April 4, 2016:Kobalt revenues rise but its losses have increased too

Kobalt’s soon-to-be-published financial results reveal that its revenues rose by 25.6% to $245.1m in its last full financial year, which ended on 30 June 2015.

The company ended that year with more than $46m of cash in the bank, buoyed by its $60m funding round led by Google Ventures in February 2015.

The financial results have not yet been published through Companies House, but Kobalt shared them with MBW including an interview with CEO Willard Ahdritz. For some, that may raise the prospect of a company keen to get its story out ahead of the pure figures.

News that Kobalt recorded an operating loss of $24.5m and a loss after tax of $27.3m may tie in to that – that net loss was up from $18.5m the previous year. Kobalt has pointed out that around $8.5m of its costs in its 2015 fiscal year were ‘non-cash items’ like stock options. Factor those out, and the loss would have increased slightly to around $18.8m.

Within Kobalt’s individual divisions, there are some points of interest. The company says that its publishing arm increased its net profits from $3.9m in its 2014 fiscal year to $5.8m in 2015, driven by a 16.5% growth in revenues to $194.2m.

Note: Kobalt reported $17.3m of “common costs” which it divides equally between its publishing, label services, neighbouring rights and AMRA divisions – a split that ensured that publishing still turned a profit.

Kobalt Label Services reported an $8.4m loss based on $29.1m of revenues in the 2015 fiscal year; while AMRA reported a $5.6m loss based on $967k of revenues, having launched in the final month of the fiscal year – June 2015. Neighbouring Rights generated a $0.9m profit based on $20.9m of revenues.

Ahdritz was bullish about the trends. “Everything is going according to plan. I’m very excited. We have some of the biggest and best tech investors on our board for a reason.”

He also claimed that Kobalt could break even across its entire business by its fiscal 2017 year. Rivals may continue to be sceptical of how Kobalt’s numbers add up, but the company is clearly determined to keep ruffling feathers in the publishing world.

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Stuart Dredge
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