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Diligent promises more diligence after options error; FY profit almost triples

Monday 4th March 2013

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Diligent Board Member Services, whose software helps directors to manage corporate governance information flows, is promising better board oversight after a review found an embarrassing oversight meaning executives got more options than they were entitled to.

The mis-step tarnished an otherwise strong year operationally, with the New York-based and locally listed firm nearly tripling annual profit. Chairman David Liptak said the board is in talks with management to nail down a compensation package after the error, and they are looking at how to improve on those controls.

"I want to assure shareholders that Diligent's board is committed to putting place robust internal controls, including appropriate processes and resources, to ensure that its performance in this area impacts to the standard of excellence that Diligent is known for as a company," Liptak said in a statement.

Diligent's net profit jumped to US$9.1 million, or 8 cents per share, in the 12 months ended Dec. 31, from US3.3 million, or 3 cents, a year earlier. Sales surged 143 percent to US$43.7 million from almost 52,000 users on 2,571 boards.

The board didn't declare a dividend, and is now sitting on cash and equivalents of US$33.3 million as at Dec. 31, compared to US$8.9 million a year earlier.

The stock fell 1 percent to $5.20 in trading, though the result wasn't announced until after the close.

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