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blinkx beats estimates after hitting 18-month high

Shares in blinkx, the video advertising company spun out of Autonomy, hit an 18-month high on Monday, after its full-year results beat analysts’ expectations.

Revenues rose 73 per cent to $198m in the 12 months to March 2013, while adjusted pre-tax profit more than doubled to $24.6m.

“What you see is the effects of operational gearing starting to take hold,” said Brian Mukherjee, blinkx’s chief executive, arguing that the company’s low cost base allowed it to increase profits faster than sales.

blinkx shares rose 7.5 per cent to 115p and have tripled since Mr Mukherjee took over in July.

The group, which sells advertising on videos sourced from external content providers, reported that these videos now attract more than 160m unique viewers a month.

Increased advertising activity around last year’s Olympics and US presidential election boosted Blinkx’s revenue by about a tenth, and the company – which had been criticised for poor cash generation – said its cash had risen from $38.4m a year ago to $55.9m at the end of March.

“We don’t want vanity revenue,” said Mr Mukerjee, adding that blinkx’s sales agents now only receive commission when customers’ payment is received.

However, Paul Richards, an analyst at Numis, said revenues were likely to rise next year, and that the group had integrated recent acquisitions well.

Jonathan Imlah, an analyst at Canaccord, noted that Blinkx continued to trade at a lower price to revenues ratio than “fast-growing online peers such as Valueclick, Yahoo! and Google ”.

blinkx said it had been unaffected by recent acrimony between two of its largest shareholders , Autonomy’s founder Mike Lynch and its parent company Hewlett-Packard. “They never really come across one another,” said Suranga Chandratillake, blinkx’s chief strategy officer.