Dermot Desmond’s eSpatial pares back financial deficit to €20m

Data and mapping software company returns to profit after years of losses

Billionaire financier Dermot Desmond, who owns eSpatial Solutions. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Billionaire financier Dermot Desmond, who owns eSpatial Solutions. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Data and mapping software company eSpatial Solutions, owned by Dermot Desmond, last year returned to profit after years of heavy losses. The company, however, remains reliant on the billionaire financier for support to plug a €20 million black hole in its balance sheet.

The company, which helps businesses plot data from their operations in graphics such as heat maps, last year made profits of about €2.4 million, according to accounts just filed. Accumulated losses still stand at €34.2 million.

The return to profitability helped it pare back the shareholders’ deficit on its balance sheet from €22.5 million.

The abridged accounts do not reveal revenue trends at eSpatial, but there are indicators in the figures that it has significantly stepped up its levels of business. At the end of 2016, according to the accounts, it had trade debtors of €4.2 million, a huge leap from just €250,000 a year earlier.

Health warning

Although eSpatial is profitable again, its auditors slapped a health warning on the accounts, highlighting that it is reliant on Mr Desmond’s IIU Nominees for funding to remain in operation.

eSpatial has debts of about €24 million, much of which is owed to Mr Desmond’s company, which has security over its assets. IIU charged eSpatial €1.2 million in interest last year, the accounts say.

The company is based in Swords, Dublin with 35 staff, but appears mainly to target the US market. Its client base includes Fedex and General Mills, according to its website.

Companies pay annual subscriptions to use eSpatial’s mapping software, with single licences beginning at $1,200 a year. Its rivals include Boston company Caliper, which markets is Maptitude service as a direct alternative to eSpatial.

eSpatial was founded in 1997. Mr Desmond became involved about four years after it was founded, and briefly sat on its board. It is run by Philip O’Doherty, a former IIU executive who became chief executive of eSpatial in 2002.