Fourth Quarter 2021
• Revenue amounted to EUR 6 540 (2 497) thousand, corresponding to a growth of 162% (-24%) and an organic growth of -11.1% (-23.7%).
• EBITDA amounted to EUR 817 (1 292) thousand. Adjusted EBITDA (before items affecting comparability related to restructuring) was EUR 1 062 (1 023) thousand.
• Profit after tax was EUR -356 (-685) thousand. Adjusted profit after tax (before items affecting comparability and currency effects) was EUR -264 (94) thousand.
• Earnings per share after dilution amounted to EUR -0.003 (-0.008). Adjusted earnings per share (before items affecting comparability and currency effects) was EUR -0.002 (0.001).
• New Depositing Customers (NDC) amounted to 32 328 (11 262) increasing by 187% (3%).
• Cash flow from operating activities amounted to EUR 642 (958) thousand. Cash flow from operating activities excluding one-off tax payment relating to acquisitions amounted to EUR 703 (958) thousand.
Full Year 2021
• Revenue amounted to EUR 24 767 (11 630) thousand, corresponding to a growth of 113% (-19%) and an organic growth of -12.6% (-18.3%).
• EBITDA amounted to EUR 4 676 (5 492) thousand. Adjusted EBITDA (before items affecting comparability related to restructuring) was EUR 5 395 (5 782) thousand.
• Profit after tax was EUR 719 (1 256) thousand. Adjusted profit after tax (before items affecting comparability and currency effects) was EUR 1 064 (2 992) thousand.
• Earnings per share after dilution amounted to EUR 0.006 (0.016). Adjusted earnings per share (before items affecting comparability and currency effects) was EUR 0.008 (0.038).
• New Depositing Customers (NDC) amounted to 133 195 (36 275) increasing by 267%
• Cash flow from operating activities amounted to EUR 3 281 (5 765) thousand. Cash flow from operating activities excluding one-off tax payment relating to acquisitions amounted to EUR 4 373 (5 765) thousand.
Important events during the quarter
• Dutch market, being one of the larger European markets, has opened on 1 October 2021. ten operators were granted a license, with more licenses expected to be issued in Q1 2022.
• On 1 November Roderick Attard was appointed as the new CFO of Acroud. Roderick previously held the position of Head of Finance at Acroud. He has profound industry knowledge from the iGaming industry and a background as an auditor at KPMG.
• Following its continued investment in productivity, synergies and software tools, Acroud launched in mid-November a large efficiency program with around 20 people being affected in mid-November 2021. The program is aimed to create a cost saving of around EUR1.2M in 2022, while accelerating revenue growth in 2022 and beyond. This program had a one-off cost in Q4 2021 of approximately EUR 245k.
CEO comments: An Eventful Quarter with Focus on Operational Efficiency
After multiple acquisitions, we have taken a big step towards becoming a more software-driven affiliate and have successfully executed cost synergies with the launch of our efficiency program. This means that we are able to do more with fewer people. We expect to see the significant effects on EBITDA levels from this program in 2022 and onwards.
While a leaner, more agile company keeps a higher pace and adapts quicker to the industry changes, we continue to keep a firm eye on our costs while accelerating our revenue growth in 2022 in line with our strategy.
In Q4-2021, Acroud delivered an increase in revenue year-on-year by 162% to EUR 6 540 thousand driven by acquisitions. EBITDA, excluding one-off costs emanating from the restructuring program, amounted to € 1.1million. The restructuring program had a one-off cost of approximately EUR 245 thousand in Q4 2021 and will create a cost-saving of around EUR1.2 million in 2022.
With a more agile organisation, Acroud is positioned to deliver significant growth in both revenue and profit in 2022 and beyond. It’s therefore with great optimism that we, as a strong team, have entered this year. In the near term, we will start our refinancing process.
AN UPDATE ON THE DUTCH MARKET
The newly regulated Dutch market has opened up slower than expected due to fewer operators being granted an online gaming license. However, Acroud has listened carefully to the needs of operators in the market, and our strategic decision to move towards richer content is paying off. After acquiring Swedish The Gambling Cabin, we have now expanded its original concept and rolled it out in the Netherlands. The community is steadily growing by the day, and we see significant potential in expanding to other markets in the future.
Moreover, Acroud has teamed up with an extensive network which will further increase our presence in the Dutch market via the SaaS segment, contributing to Acroud’s 2022 revenue growth.
With that in mind, Acroud is positioned to become one of the strongest players in the Netherlands.
STRATEGY AND M&A
During last year we have been active in M&A. During the last quarter we have really started to see the fruits of this strategy. We have branched out to stay relevant and developed streaming and podcasting media. We have also secured leading software to become a prominent supplier of software services within our industry. And as anticipated, we already see that our acquisitions are helping our ‘old’ core business to get back to growth.
Delivering the best content on the market, backed by unrivalled software solutions, will be a winning combination as we advance towards 2022.
SUCCESSFUL WITHIN AFFILIATION
Our heavy investment in SEO strategies during the second half of 2021 has proven successful. Specific brands have grown NDCs by 71% and Revenue by 72% quarter-onquarter during Q4-21. We look forward to implementing the same SEO strategy on more key brands targeting strategic markets during 2022, at limited additional cost.
SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE DEVELOPMENTS
SaaS revenues continued to grow steadily, increasing by 3% quarter-on-quarter and 46% year-on-year. Acroud’s advanced data collection tool, Voonix, has delivered steady quarter-on-quarter growth of 15% in revenue. Likewise, Matching Visions has grown its revenue by 57% year-onyear during Q4-21. In addition to penetrating the Dutch market, Matching Visions has launched an eSports affiliate network. Both networks will develop and mature in 2022.
THE NEW ACROUD
Since January 2021, Acroud has been a very different company than our direct competitors. With the acquisition of PMG we have moved away from being just an affiliate company, and we have started offering B2B services referred to as SaaS solutions. This strategic move has created a new company with less exposure to SEO and other risks associated with the affiliate industry while creating a more robust revenue platform for future growth. This has also changed the Company’s EBITDA margins. During Q4-2021 the affiliate business operated at an EBITDA margin (excluding one-off costs) of 37% while the SaaS business operated at an EBITDA margin of 6%, resulting in a blended Group EBITDA margin (excluding one-off costs) of 16%. This also explains why during Q4-21 Group EBITDA has increased by 4% year-on-year despite the 162% increase in Group Revenues.
Lastly, I am genuinely excited to have welcomed Roderick into my team as the new CFO. After four years with the company, he joined the team of industry-leading experts mixed with motivated young professionals committed to taking Acroud to the next level.
Admittedly Acroud has had some challenges over the last few years, but with bold plans and projects being implemented since Q4-21, and with the great team we have now in place, 2022 will be a bright year for us.
Robert Andersson Malta, 17 February 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-q4-2021.
The join the conference via phone, please dial-in using any of the numbers below:
US: +16319131422 + PIN: 81706302#
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.
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 7925 4722
ACROUD AB (publ)
Telephone: +356 2132 3750/1
E-mail: [email protected]
The appointed Certified Adviser is 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. However, 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 global challenger that grows and operates 30+ comparison & news sites under strong digital brands in traditional and new verticals. The company develops and offers SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions in the affiliate industry, provide streaming services, and run 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.