Profit, sales at Charleston’s Blackbaud rise in 1Q

Blackbaud Inc. boosted its first quarter profits as growing subscriptions pushed revenues to a double-digit increase, the company said Wednesday.

Earnings at the Daniel Island-based company, which makes software for the philanthropic industry, rose to $5 million in the first quarter, up 16.6 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

Sales increased 15 percent to $169 million.

The increase comes as Blackbaud — the region’s largest publicly traded company by market value — has shifted to a business model built on cloud computing, meaning its clients pay a monthly fee for access to its products rather than buying a license upfront. The company said this week that more than a third of its customers were using its new cloud service, “Blackbaud Sky,” which launched in October.

“The philanthropic market remains very strong and the success we’re seeing across the portfolio positions us well for future growth,” CEO Mike Gianoni said in a written statement. “The market is excited about our next generation solutions, and we’re just beginning to tap the extraordinary opportunity in the cloud.”

Blackbaud also said Wednesday it would pay a dividend of 12 cents a share in June, in line with past quarterly payouts.

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Executives will discuss the results with investors Thursday morning.

Reach Thad Moore at 843-937-5703 or on Twitter @thadmoore.