Acroud publishes interim report Jan-Mar 2022: Strong organic growth with the right forward momentum

First Quarter 2022

  • Revenue amounted to EUR 7 003 (5 579) thousand, corresponding to a growth of 26% (75%) and an organic growth of 15.5% (-9.7%). 

 

  • EBITDA amounted to EUR 2 248 (1 441) thousand. Adjusted EBITDA (before items affecting comparability) was EUR 1 781 (1 575) thousand. 

 

  • Profit after tax was EUR 1 184 (748) thousand. Adjusted profit after tax (before items affecting comparability and currency effects) was EUR 551 (553) thousand. 

 

  • Earnings per share after dilution amounted to EUR 0.009 (0.006). Adjusted earnings per share (before items affecting comparability and currency effects) was EUR 0.004 (0.005). 

 

  • New Depositing Customers (NDC) amounted to 33 538 (31 787) increasing by 6% (230%). 

 

  • Cash flow from operating activities amounted to EUR 1 484 (11) thousand. 


 

Important events during the quarter

 

  • During the first quarter of 2022, the Company’s Board initiated the re-financing process and appointed financial (Pareto Securities AB) and legal (Gernandt & Danielsson Advokatbyra KB) advisors to assist in the process. 
  • In March 2022, Acroud has divested its finance affiliation assets for USD 575 thousand. The divestment aligns with the Company’s strategy to be the preferred digital affiliation partner within the iGaming market. The total consideration of USD 575 thousand represents a multiple of approximately 5.2x annual EBITDA, based on the last twelve months. USD 425 thousand out of total consideration was paid on transaction day, and the remaining USD 150 thousand were paid once the transfer of the sold assets was completed in April 2022.

 

Important events after the quarter
 

  • In May 2022, the board of directors communicated to the market that Acroud is expected to reach between EUR 8 million and EUR 10 million in EBITDA during FY2022. The board of directors has also set new financial targets: (i) To grow EBITDA organically by, on average, 20% annually during financial years 2023- 2025, and (ii) to decrease the net interest-bearing debt/adjusted EBITDA to 2.5x or lower by December 2025.

 

CEO comments: Strong start to the financial year 2022!

The time I’ve been waiting to write this CEO statement was certainly tinted with impatience, but I am delighted to finally be in a position to present a strong quarter performance, which proves that a successful business turnaround of Acroud is now in full effect.

We have developed Acroud from a conventional player with comparison sites to a fast-moving challenger in the space of not only iGaming Affiliation but also B2B SaaS Solutions. Representing renewed stability and profitability, Q1 2022 has been a solid quarter of harvesting the fruits of the strategic steps and well-executed plans implemented in the previous year; although admittedly it took longer than all of us wanted. With a leaner and more agile team, the knowledge, assets, and cost base we have now in place, I’m excited to see that we have reached the desirable foundation to accelerate revenue growth and return to consistently positive performance.

Validating the preliminary estimated quarterly revenues and earnings published in last month’s trading update, in Q1 2022, Acroud delivered the following results:

• Revenue amounted to EUR 7.0m for Q1 2022, representing a 7 per cent growth quarter-on-quarter and 26 per cent growth year-on-year.

• Return to positive organic growth, where revenue has increased organically by 15.5%.

• EBITDA amounted to EUR 1.8m, which increases to EUR 2.2m when including profit on disposal. The latter corresponds to a growth of 175 per cent quarter-on-quarter and 56 per cent year-on-year.

• Cash flow generated from operations during Q1 2022 (excluding proceeds from the divestment of the finance assets) amounted to approximately EUR 1.5m, impacted by negative working capital development in the quarter.

• In March 2022, Acroud has divested its finance affiliation assets for USD 575 thousand. The divestment aligned with the Company’s strategy to focus on and be the preferred digital affiliation partner within the iGaming market. The total consideration of USD 575 thousand represents a multiple of approximately 5.2x annual EBITDA, based on the last twelve months.

It’s been a long journey revitalizing and reshaping the company; therefore, it is gratifying to see this turnaround. The results reaffirm our strong start into the financial year, proving that Acroud is on the right track to deliver significant growth in both profit and revenue in 2022 and beyond.  

 

New Financial Targets

With a leaner business and more diversified risks, the next natural step for Acroud was to set new financial targets. Acroud’s new priorities are sustainable growth in Company’s profitability and shareholders’ value generated by a robust capital structure. With such a frame in mind, we forecast to generate EUR 8million to EUR 10million in EBITDA in 2022 with the objective to continue growing EBITDA further organically by on average 20% a year during financial years 2023 - 2025. Operations will be conducted at low financial risk, with a Net Debt to EBITDA ratio below 2.5x.

Equal Focus on Both Segments

Since January 2021, with the acquisition of PMG, Acroud has moved away from being just an affiliate company by starting to offer B2B services (SaaS Solutions) to other affiliates within the iGaming industry. With this strategic move the Acroud offer has been constructed into two pillars: SaaS Segment and iGaming Affiliation Segment.

SaaS revenues amounted to EUR 4.0m, representing a 5 per cent growth quarter-on-quarter and 46 per cent growth year-on- year. SaaS EBITDA amounted to EUR 0.5m, which corresponds to a growth of 106 per cent quarter-on-quarter and an EBITDA margin of 13%.

Within our iGaming Affiliation Segment, our strategic investment in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), cutting-edge technology, product quality and rich content executed during the second half of 2021 continues to bear fruit. The segment’s revenues amounted to EUR 3.0m for Q1 2022, representing a 10 per cent growth quarter-on-quarter and 5 per cent growth year-on- year. The efficiency program launched in November 2021 has resulted in a lower cost base, which has contributed to the EBITDA margin in iGaming Affiliation increasing from 37% in the fourth quarter of 2021 to 50% in the first quarter of 2022. iGaming Affiliation adjusted EBITDA amounted to EUR 1.5m, which corresponds to a growth of 47 per cent quarter-on- quarter.

Our growth in coming quarters will continue to be driven simultaneously by both segments and while the iGaming Affiliation EBITDA margin will continue to exceed that of the SaaS segment due to the lower operational costs, the management focus will remain distributed equally between each business area. Through the implementation of new initiatives, as well as effective collaboration and synergies between the different business areas, we will be strengthening our unique position of a Software-Based affiliate and continue to build a diversified and robust revenue base for sustainable future growth.

Refinancing Process Update

Lastly, I am pleased to announce that the process of refinancing Acroud’s bond loan (maturing in September 2022) is progressing well. Assisted by reputable financial (Pareto Securities AB) and legal (Gernandt & Danielsson Advokatbyrå KB) advisors, the Board and Management are confident that this refinancing process will be as successful as the last bond issue executed in 2017.

In summary, I am proud to look back at a strong quarter and an excellent start to the new financial year 2022. The implemented strategies and a successful business turnaround have yielded results and will continue to do so in the coming quarters. But as much as we are excited to harvest the fruit of our labour, you can stay assured we will not rest on our laurels. With an entrepreneurial mindset, we will continue to develop our strategies, examine our operations, and eliminate inefficiencies. Solid growth at a rapid pace - we are ready!

Enjoy the Ride!

Robert Andersson, Malta, 19 May 2022


CEO Robert Andersson and CFO Roderick Attard will present the report, followed by a Q&A session today at 10:00 CET. The presentation will be held in English and will be webcasted live through www.acroud.com or via https://tv.streamfabriken.com/acroud-q1-2022.

 

To join the conference via phone, please dial-in using any of the numbers below:
 

From Sweden: +46850558369
From UK: +443333009032
From the US: +1 6319131422 PIN: 69094076#

 

The webcast and the presentation slides will available to view and listen on demand after the webcast on www.acroud.com or via the Quartr app.


Responsible parties

This information constitutes inside information that Acroud AB (publ) is required to disclose under the EU Market Abuse Regulation 596/2014. The information in this press release has been published through the agency of the contact persons below, at the time specified by Acroud AB’s (publ) news distributor Cision for publication of this press release. The persons below may also be contacted for further information.
 

For further information, please contact:

Robert Andersson, President and CEO

+356 9999 8017

 

Roderick Attard, CFO

+356 79254722

 

ACROUD AB (publ)

Telephone:          +356 2132 3750/1

E-mail:   [email protected]

Website:  www.acroud.com

 


Certified Adviser: FNCA Sweden AB, [email protected], +46 8 528 00 399


From August 2021 (Q221 Report) report Acroud has changed reporting and company language to English. This means that onwards press releases will only be communicated in English. Interim Reports and the correlated press releases will be issued in both English and Swedish, however the English version will supersede the Swedish version.

 

About ACROUD AB

ACROUD is a fast-moving challenger in the space of iGaming Affiliation and B2B SaaS Solutions. Along with its core affiliate business, which contains 30+ comparison and news sites under strong digital brands in multiple verticals, Acroud develops and offers SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions within the affiliate industry. The company also provides streaming services and runs the innovative gaming event – The Festival Series. Following a number of mergers in 2020 and 2021, many talented industry experts have joined Acroud's journey, leading the organization towards a Software-Based Affiliation company. Driven by the sustainable growth and profitability of our partners, our mission is to connect People, Content Creators (Youtubers, Streamers, Affiliates) and Businesses.
Acroud has been listed on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market under the ticker symbol ACROUD since June 2018.