BY JOHN P. McDERMOTT

jmcdermott@postandcourier.com

Benefitfocus Inc.'s second quarter loss nearly doubled and revenue jumped by a third as the Charleston software company continues to put market share ahead of profits.

The Daniel Island-based firm said sales totaled $32.3 million, up 33 percent from the same period of 2013. Its year-over-year net loss widened to $18.2 million from $9.6 million.

Benefitfocus is a fast-growing provider of online workplace benefits software. As of June 30, 43 insurance carriers and 488 large employers used its one-stop, cloud-based platform to shop for, enroll in and manage their health care policies and other job perks. The company said it added 80 customers during the last quarter.

"We believe that employers and carriers are increasingly embracing Benefitfocus' cloud-based solutions to capitalize on the changes in the benefits market to drive improved employee engagement and cost management," CEO Shawn Jenkins said in a statement.

For the first six months of the year, the company's sales increased 31 percent to $63 million and its net loss increased to $30.6 million from $15.2 million in the first half of 2013.

"The transformation of the benefits administration market continues to accelerate," Jenkins said. "This is enabling employers and carriers to innovate and create new ways to deliver the benefits package that is right for an employee's individual circumstances. The market is in the early stages of this transformation and we are making investments to position Benefitfocus to capitalize on this multibillion dollar opportunity."

Looking ahead, the company said it expects third-quarter revenue is expected to be in the range of $33.5 million to $34.0 million. It also projected a loss of between $17.8 million to $18.3 million.

For the full year, sales are expected to be in the $133.6 million to $135.6 million range, with a loss of $59 million to $61 million.

Benfitfocus went public last year.