Charleston’s Benefitfocus releases financial results for 1Q

Sales at Charleston software developer Benefitfocus Inc. continued to climb sharply in the first quarter while losses edged up at a slower pace.

The Daniel Island-based company said revenue totaled $42.7 million through March 31, up 39 percent compared to the same period of 2014. Its loss widened to $14.6 million from $12.4 million, reflecting a focus on sales growth over profits.

“Benefitfocus delivered a strong start to 2015 with first quarter financial results that exceeded the high end of our guidance on both the top and bottom line,” CEO Shawn Jenkins said in a statement. “There is tremendous activity across the benefits industry and we are delivering on a number of initiatives that position the company well to become an increasingly strategic partner for customers.”

Benefitfocus is a fast-growing provider of online workplace benefits software. Big insurance carriers and more than 560 large employers use its one-stop, cloud-based platform to shop for, enroll in and manage their health care policies and other job perks.

The company, which went public in 2013, provided financial guidance for the rest of this year. It expects an annual net loss of $59 million to $62 million on sales of $172 million to $175 million.

Benefitfocus is one of the region’s largest locally based technology employers. It is investing $60 million to add office space and 1,300 jobs at its Daniel Island campus. It recently completed the first phase of that expansion.

The company released its latest results after the U.S. stock market closed Wednesday. Its shares ended the trading session up 20 cents to $33.19.

Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.