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Lightspeed reappoints founder Dax Dasilva as CEO, reports Q4 revenue up 25%

Three months after Dax Dasilva returned to the helm of Lightspeed Commerce Inc. on an interim basis, the company says he's staying put.
Lightspeed Commerce Inc. CEO Dax Dasilva poses in the company's offices in Montreal, Wednesday, May 8, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christinne Muschi

Three months after Dax Dasilva returned to the helm of Lightspeed Commerce Inc. on an interim basis, the company says he's staying put.

The Montreal-based payments technology business said Thursday that Dasilva, Lightspeed's founder, has been reappointed as chief executive on a permanent basis.

Dasilva stepped back into the CEO job on an interim basis in February after JP Chauvet left the company. Chauvet joined Lightspeed as chief revenue officer in October 2012 and replaced Dasilva in the top job in February 2022, when the founder became executive chair.

"We're in this new phase and it's all new challenges," Dasilva said in an interview Thursday.

"We're doing some of the things that shareholders want to see, including myself."

Those efforts centre around three objectives: accelerating software revenue growth, advancing the adopting of Lightspeed's financial services products and controlling costs.

To improve software revenue growth, Dasilva said the company would invest in product innovation, redeploy account managers to upsell clients and focus on customers that tend to adopt more software.

On the financial services front, the company wants to get more clients using not just its payments technology, but also its capital and instant deposit offerings.

"The entrepreneurs that we support are people at the top of their game. They've got areas that they're dreaming about how they could expand in," Dasilva said, mentioning a music store that used Lightspeed to finance a record label. 

"The revenue flow in your business [is] very reliable and so we can loan you capital to go into something new."

Banks and other financial partners might not see those revenue flows, impacting how businesses can access capital and pushing more to look toward Lightspeed as a solution.

Dasilva's final objective is to control costs and find more savings.

He already advanced this goal by laying off 280 staff last month, which the company estimates will lower its operational expenses by 10 per cent in fiscal 2025. 

Asked whether layoffs could continue, Dasilva said, "I think there's a lot of opportunity outside of headcount to find efficiency."

Some of that opportunity has come from the company moving its sales summit to a virtual format, but reducing its office footprint and re-examining contracts with partners and vendors might also be fertile territory, he said.

Lightspeed, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, revealed its plan for the company the same day as it reported a loss of US$32.5 million or 21 cents US per share for the quarter ended March 31. The result compared with a loss of US$74.5 million or 49 cents US per share in the same quarter last year.

Revenue for the fourth quarter totalled US$230.2 million, up from US$184.2 million a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, Lightspeed said it earned US$8.5 million or six cents per share in its latest quarter compared with an adjusted loss of US$400,000 or zero cents per share in the same quarter last year.

The results pushed Lightspeed's share price up 18.31 per cent, or $3.18, on Thursday to close at $20.55 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

"Lightspeed's first quarter under Dax Dasilva confirms the company's commitment to balancing growth with profitability," Daniel Chan, a TD Securities analyst, said in a Thursday note to clients. 

Lightspeed said it expects to report between US$255 million and US$260 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2025 and adjusted earnings of about US$7 million.

Over the course of 2025, it believes it will see revenue growth of at least 20 per cent and an adjusted profit of at least US$40 million. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2024.

Companies in this story: (TSX:LSPD)

Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press