Feeds

SpinVox carcass laid bare in final accounts

And you will know us by the trail of our debt

Boost IT visibility and business value

Dragon's Den TV star Julie Meyer described SpinVox as "the first major technology success story out of Europe", but the company's final accounts show a business running at a huge loss, spending heavily, and with interest payments alone exceeding income.

The accounts also show that CEO Christine Domecq repaid the company a six figure sum.

Speech giant Nuance acquired the controversial British company - which dominated the business pages last summer - shortly before Christmas in a stock deal.

Although its executives bravely talked of an IPO, SpinVox's liabilities far exceeded its assets. The company listed current liabilities of £124m, including trade and other payables of £59.6m and borrowings of £64.3m.

Yet SpinVox booked just £7.8m in revenue for the nine months year ending 30 September 2009, reporting a staggering loss of £56.49m. In the nine months ending 30 September 2008, accounts reveal, the company posted a £45.25m loss on income of just £2.97m.

The cost of doing business was high, with SpinVox buying customers. In June, the company announced a deal with Telefonica to provide text-to-speech voicemail in 13 Latin American countries.

The accounts refer to an "intangible asset of £22.2m, in respect of the right to provide its service to a customer". This was to be amortized over the term of the deal. But the accounts added that "since the contract is at an early stage of deployment, management consider it reasonably possible that the net revenue under the contract may be zero".

How did SpinVox keep going? In 2008 a share issue realised £51m. Last year the company took loans of £37.76m, defaulting on the Mezzanine, or bridging loan we reported here.

A dossier raising what the filing describes as "serious allegations", and sent to the board, was circulated last year. Most of the allegations have not been published for legal reasons.

The filings confirm the company covered Domecq for personal expenses, and these were not accounted for correctly.

"Bonuses were satisfied partly by the company meeting the costs of various personal expenses of Ms Domecq," according to the filing.

"PAYE was not deducted on bonuses declared... Following extensive review, net balance on this account was £126,000 owed to the Company... Domecq agreed to reimburse Spinvox £125,000 and revise certain of her employment terms."

Spinvox has also made provisions for late payment penalties.

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: The Mechanical Turk

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.