Cyber security group Darktrace (DARK) may have posted a deep annual loss owing to listing and financing costs but the market was much more interested in upgrades to forward revenue and margin guidance after adding more customers.

The shares traded 9% higher at 696p, extending the gains on the 250p issue price from its April IPO to 278%.

Net losses for the year to 30 June 2021 amounted to $149.6 million, compared to year-on-year losses of $28.7 million.

Darktrace attributed the deeper loss to increased share-based payment charges and associated employer tax charges related to the IPO, and a transition to listed company compensation structures.

Revenues jumped 41% to $281.3 million, driven by new customer additions at stable average contract values, it said.

For the current financial year, Darktrace, which listed in April, said it now expected to notch revenue growth of 35%-to-37%, up from previous guidance of 29%-to-32%. Its adjusted earnings margin was now forecast at 2%-to-5%, up from 1%-to-4% previously.

‘NEW ERA OF CYBER-THREAT’

Chief executive Poppy Gustafsson said: ‘In this new era of cyber-threat, Darktrace is helping organisations from every industry sector, including providers of critical national infrastructure, to protect their digital assets, and avoid the serious disruption that cyber-attacks can cause.'

‘As the adoption of self-learning AI accelerates globally, we are also excited to be continually pushing the boundaries of innovation, extending the reach of our AI technology to new applications and use cases.’

AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould commented: ‘The importance of cyber security was reinforced in the pandemic as an increasing number of organisations shifted activities online and the cost of paying for the services of a company like Darktrace arguably pale into insignificance when compared with the costs and reputational hit facing any organisation which suffers a major data breach.

‘Darktrace’s smart technology, using a self-learning, adaptive platform to spot anomalous activity, has already helped it win a swathe of blue chip customers across a range of sectors and industries.

‘The company seems to be doing a good job of hanging on to its existing customers and selling them new services too, and this is crucial if Darktrace is to build on its success to date.’

READ MORE ABOUT DARKTRACE HERE

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Issue Date: 15 Sep 2021