Financial highlights during fourth quarter 2022
Revenue amounted to EUR 10 019 (6 540) thousand, corresponding to a growth of 53% and an organic growth of -3.3%.
EBITDA amounted to EUR 2 342 (817) thousand, increasing by 187% year-on-year. Adjusted EBITDA (before items affecting comparability) was EUR2 492 (1 062) thousand increasing by 135% year-on year.
Profit after tax was EUR -20 265 (-356) thousand. Adjusted profit after tax (before items affecting comparability and currency effects) was EUR 564 (-264) thousand. Items affecting comparability include an impairment charge of EUR 18 million and an earn-out revaluation amounting to EUR 2 932 thousand.
Earnings per share after dilution amounted to EUR -0.15 (-0.003). Adjusted earnings per share (before items affecting comparability and currency effects) was EUR 0.004 (-0.002).
Financial highlights for full year 2022
Revenue amounted to EUR 30 905 (24 767) thousand, corresponding to a growth of 25% and an organic growth of 6.9%.
EBITDA amounted to EUR 7 890 (4 676) thousand, increasing by 69% year-on-year. Adjusted EBITDA (before items affecting comparability) was EUR 7 573 (5 395) thousand, increasing by 40% year-on-year.
Profit after tax was EUR -18 421 (719) thousand. Adjusted profit after tax (before items affecting comparability and currency effects) was EUR 1 516 (1 064) thousand. Items affecting comparability include an impairment charge of EUR 18 million and an earn-out revaluation amounting to EUR 2 932 thousand.
Earnings per share after dilution amounted to EUR -0.141 (0.006). Adjusted earnings per share (before items affecting comparability and currency effects) was EUR 0.012 (0.008).
New Depositing Customers (NDC) amounted to 186 550 (133 195) increasing by 40% (267%).
Cash flow from operating activities amounted to EUR 5 596 (EUR 4 373 excluding one-off tax payment relating to acquisitions) thousand.
Financial highlights after the quarter
- Revenue in January 2023 amounted to EUR 3.2 million, representing a year-on-year increase of 35%.
Important events during the quarter
On 13 October 2022, Acroud (the “Company”) has successfully acquired 60% shareholding in an affiliation and Media company namely, Acroud Media Ltd, for a total consideration of approximately GBP 5.1 million. The acquisition encompasses affiliation assets and technology within the iGaming Market and it is expected to contribute over EUR 9 million to the Company’s revenues and over 4 million to the Company’s EBITDA annually. This acquisition will be reported in the iGaming affiliation segment. For further detailed information, see note 10 in this report.
Important events after the quarter
On 8th February 2023, Tricia Vella was appointed as Interim CFO for Acroud. Tricia has been working at Acroud since 2019 and has previously held the position of Head of Finance. She also has an audit background, having worked at PwC for seven years. The recruitment process for a permanent CFO is in progress.
CEO comments: A time of Growth
Quarter 4 2022 marked the beginning of a new foundation for our Company, geared up for solid EBITDA growth and lower debt. During the quarter our group has delivered:
EUR 10.0 million in revenue, representing year-on-year growth of 53%,
EUR 2.5 million in EBITDA (excluding one-off items), representing year-on-year growth of 135%, and
84,086 New Depositing Customers (NDCs) to our partners, representing year-on-year growth of 160%.
Update on New Acquisition: Acroud Media
This quarter has been the first quarter with our new Media Business, and I am happy to say it is firing on all cylinders. The growth in NDCs noted above has been mainly driven by the new Media business, which has found the right way to capitalise on the players’ interest in football, during the World Cup and domestic leagues alike.
The new business comprises mainly of sport revenue driven by revshare deals, giving us a very stable and secure long-term revenue stream. The only disadvantage with revenue share is that you can be affected by unfavourable sports results in the short-term. This happened to us towards the end of December when all favourite teams in the English Premier League won. I would lie if I said it did not annoy me. However past results show that such hits occur only a few times during a calendar year and that revenue always comes back over time. With that said I am very happy and proud that we are now one of the affiliates in the market with the most sport book revenue in its revenue mix.
Optimizing our existing businesses
The Company’s new foundation is built on a new management team, comprising of experienced leaders well known in the iGaming, Affiliation and SaaS industries. The new management team will further strengthen the cooperation between our different subsidiaries and create a smaller and optimized organization, particularly in our SEO business. This change has led to a one-off restructuring cost of EUR 98 thousand during Q4-22 but will lead to annual cost savings of EUR 660 thousand. This is to continue to adapt our SEO business to the changing landscape in our industry while gearing for growth.
Our Strong Drive for Better Changes
Looking back over the past years, I am happy that we had the courage to act. Had we not driven change so aggressively during the past 3 years; acquiring complementary businesses and diversifying the Group’s income streams and business risks, we would be in a far less favorable position today. Many of our industry peers in the “let’s make casino toplist on SEO sites, and create thousands of them” are really struggling. This is the part of our business that has struggled over the last 5 years, caused by regulatory changes in Europe, but also affected by how Google views these types of assets. So as part of our prudent book-keeping we are writing down the value of those assets stemming from Net Gaming’s (former name of Acroud) acquisition of Highlight Media business back in 2016. This is reflected as a one-off non-cash impairment charge of EUR 18 million during the quarter. New management has the right experience, expertise, and action plan to bring the Highlight Media business back to strong organic growth.
All businesses acquired since November 2020 are performing better than expected. Such transformative acquisitions have not only delivered strong revenue growth but have added to our Group valuable industry expertise and relationships which drove positive changes in the Company’s profitability, operative cashflow and business risks. This success also led to a one-off adjustment to our liabilities (amounting to EUR 2.9 million) during Q4-22 to reflect the estimated earnouts relating to Power Media Group acquisition (completed in January 2021) and The Gambling Cabin (executed in April 2021). Negotiations about the exact earnout amounts and payment dates have already started and will be concluded in the coming months.
It is very positive that these companies are doing so well, and based on targets we have set internally, they will continue delivering strong growth during 2023 and in the foreseeable future. The founders and owners of these companies have committed to an active role in the Company’s future. They have a two-year lock-up period on the shares they will receive as a part of the earnout payments too, which ensures stability and continuity for the Group and its owners even after earnouts are concluded.
The Media business acquisition, the formation of a new management team and the restructuring in the SEO business in Q4, backed by refinancing secured earlier this year form the foundation of the new Acroud. During 2022 we have delivered EUR 7.9 million in EBITDA (or EUR 7.6 million if one-off items are excluded) – marginally below the EUR 8 million target we had set at the beginning of the year. Net debt / EBITDA ratio has been lowered to 2.5x as of December 2022, which meets the target we have set to reach by December 2025.
This is just the beginning of a new era. I am excited and geared-up to continue taking this Company to the next levels. We have set out our business goals and plans for 2023 which will guide and push us to continue working towards the two main financial targets set: (i) 20% organic growth in EBITDA and (ii) optimize further our capital structure by lowering our net debt / EBITDA ratio and lowering our gross debt. This positive momentum, which started in Q4, puts us in the right track to deliver our financial targets in 2023 and beyond.
Join the Ride!
Robert Andersson, Malta, 16 February 2023
CEO Robert Andersson 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://ir.financialhearings.com/acroud-q4-2022.
To join the conference via phone, please dial-in using any of the numbers below:
From Sweden: +46-8-5051-6386
From UK: +44-20-319-84884
From the US: +1-412-317-6300, Pin code: 7327161#
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
Tricia Vella, Interim CFO
+356 7905 7755
ACROUD AB (publ)
Telephone: +356 2132 3750/1
E-mail: [email protected]
Certified Adviser: FNCA Sweden AB, [email protected]
From August 2021 (Q221 Report) report Acroud has changed reporting and company language to English. This means that 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.