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Serko raises $15M in over-subscribed placement

By Paul McBeth

Aug. 8 (BusinessDesk) - Serko shares will resume trading today after a $15 million placement was over-subscribed, raising funds for the online travel booking app developer to accelerate its global growth plans.

The Auckland-based company sold almost 5.5 million shares at $2.75 apiece in a placement to 12 institutional investors in New Zealand and Australia and attracted strong participation from retail investors, it said in a statement. The offer was a 3.2 percent discount to the last trading price of $2.84.

"The placement provides Serko with greater flexibility to both accelerate organic growth opportunities and execute potential acquisitions," chief executive Darrin Grafton said. "We have been very pleased with the level of support from our current shareholders and we welcome a number of new investors onto our register."

Last week, Serko raised its revenue expectations for the year ending March 31, 2019 for sales growth of 20-to-30 percent on 2018’s $18.3 million. It had previously predicted sales growth of 15-to-30 percent.

The company posted its maiden profit in 2018 and has started expanding into the Northern Hemisphere where it sees new opportunities. Its shares have been in uncharted territory as investors were impressed by the successful execution of its plans last year, rising 30 percent so far this year which has seen it complete a secondary listing on the ASX.

Serko held cash and equivalents of $5.2 million as at March 31, generating a positive operating cash flow in the year of $1.4 million, compared to an outflow of $1.6 million a year earlier. The board has a policy of maintaining strong cash reserves and in its annual report, said directors would “monitor Serko’s capital requirements in light of the funding needed to execute growth opportunities both organic and inorganic.”

(BusinessDesk)

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