Concur Maintains Growth, Hints At TripLink Supplier Progress

Concur posted another strong quarter of revenue and customer growth, exceeding expectations on those and other financial metrics. The company claimed 1,500 new customers during its second fiscal quarter, ending March 31, including roughly 500 more for the open-booking TripLink service. As for other questions on TripLink__notably which suppliers have agreed to participate__CEO Steve Singh promised answers next week.

Concur now claims more than 1,000 TripLink customers (about double the number stated in January). During a Tuesday conference call with analysts, Singh noted support from travel management companies, developers and suppliers. When pressed on how many suppliers are participating, Singh said Concur is "finding continued momentum," but added that he's withholding details__including news on supplier participants__until next week when the company holds an investor day and user conference. Concur previously identified Avis Budget Group, InterContinental Hotels Group, La Quinta Inns & Suites and Marriott International, but still no airlines.

When asked how Concur derives revenue from TripLink, Singh acknowledged "little or no" near-term contribution. "In the long term, we think that supply chain efficiency that TripLink and other products drive is a very material component of revenue, comparable to what we see in our core business," he explained. "Think about TripLink as driving two streams of revenue: One is the value that we are delivering to clients. Just like the online booking tool, Concur Travel, we think over a reasonable period of time we'll see an uplift on a transactional basis for the end-user application. We think there also is a transactional opportunity on the supplier side related to TripLink, but we are in the very, very early stages of that piece of it.

"I would not count on today any meaningful contribution," he continued, "but certainly we see the adoption around TripLink as a great early trend indicator, and an indicator of customer and supplier value."

Concur also claimed that 1,000 corporate clients are using apps delivered via the Concur App Center, which launched last year. Concur reported that its own ExpenseIt app saw strong customer adoption. According to Singh, other popular apps relate to value-added tax analytics and single-sign-on and identity management.

Overall, Concur cited strong customer growth across all customer segments and geographies (especially the United States, "key" markets in Europe and Japan). New additions include enterprise customers VMware and Chevron, and SMB customer the New York Yankees. (The company in January also identified as clients the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates.)

"We were very pleased with the demand environment we saw in Q1 and Q2," Singh said. "We are on track to have booking growth in fiscal 2014 be comparable with what we saw in fiscal 2013 ... and cross $1 billion revenue mark in 2016."

Concur's quarterly revenue (excluding that of "businesses that the company intends to divest") increased 31 percent year over year to $167 million, expenses grew 39 percent and adjusted pretax income came in at $9 million. Including a one-time $31 million income tax expense, the company's net loss jumped to $56 million from $7.6 million in the year-earlier period.

Analysts speaking with Concur executives during the conference call seemed pleased with the company's performance and Singh said to "expect momentum to continue into second half of the fiscal year."