Better Collective AS has lauded the strong diversification of its media assets, having achieved a record-breaking quarter to close full-year 2022 trading.
Publishing its 4th quarter and FY2022 results, the Stockholm-listed media publisher achieved record Q2 revenues of €86m, up 63% on 2021 comparatives of €53m – helping FY revenues stand at €270m (FY2021: €177m).
Headline growth saw Better Collective shift its core US media contracts from “upfront CPA payments to revenue share models”, benefitting its network performance.
Chief Executive Jesper Søgaard underlined that the rev-share switch “implicitly could have seen the group delivered an EBITDA of 100 mEUR, implying 80% growth”.
The ‘Big Switch‘ coincided with the high network activity generated by Qatar World Cup 2022, which “exceeded all expectations” – Q4 trading saw the firm break all KPI records delivering 580,000 new depositing customers (NDCs) to partners.
“Q4, we brought this close to 1,7 million NDCs for 2022. Of the approximately 1.7 m NDCs, with 76% were sent on revenue share contracts, and out of Q4’s 580,000 NDCs, around 300,000 were delivered during the men’s World Cup”, Søgaard explained.
“To put it into perspective, the 300,000 is more than the last four men’s World Cups and four men’s European Championships combined. Compared to the men’s World Cup 2018, our key figures have increased tenfold, a testament to how far we have come in just four years.”
Benefitting from record KPIs, Better Collective’s European & ROW network achieved Q4 revenues of €52m (+59%) combined with an EBITDA result of €21m.
Capping a stellar close to 2022 trading, the company achieved its headline US target of delivering +$100m revenues – as US-based media assets generated Q4 revenues of €34m (+71%) alongside a Q4 EBITDA result of €14.5m.
Period profits (after tax) from operations stood at €21m, doubling 2021 results of €10m as Better Collective lauded its diverse range of earnings effective media services, which operate across:- sports, betting, igaming, esports and further content partnerships with The Daily Telegraph and NY Post.
Søgaard commented on Q4 results – “This was a record-breaking quarter during which we benefited from our strong diversification, while we also cemented the synergies that are achieved when combining efforts across the group”.
“It has been exciting to see how efforts to become the Leading Digital Sports Media Group are starting to materialize. Our sports communities have proved to be attractive “go-to-places” for millions of sports fans while also being strategically attractive for our business partners.”
Full-year accounts revealed that Better Collective cost base had grown by €66m to €198m as the company absorbed enlarged US operating costs of €39m.
Elsewhere, Better Collective accounted for a three-fold increase in direct costs totalling €92m (2021: €27m) related to its 2021 acquisition of The Action Network and increased cost in paid media and partnerships.
US expansion saw Better Collective increase its employee headcount to circa 870 staff (FY2021: 635) as personnel costs grew to €68m (FY2021: €41m).
Further bottom-line costs saw Better Collective’s effective tax income double to €16.9m as FY2022 EBITDA stood at €85m, up 53% on FY2021 comparative EBITDA of €56m.
Closing its 2022 accounts, Better Collective declared corporate net profits after tax of €48m (FY2021: €17.3m).
Entering 2023, the board of Better Collective has set the financial targets of achieving a revenue stand of €290-to€300m with EBITDA before special items of €90m to €100m.
Investors were notified that FY2023’s cost base would increase by €10m as leadership moves to establish Better Collective’s LatAm presence and with a further commitment required to build its new Adtech platform.
2023 targets do not account for any potential M&A activity, as Søgaard concluded; “We look forward even more to 2023. January has been boosted by the Ohio launch – giving us our best month ever – with revenues of >37 mEUR – implying growth of >40%, despite tough comparisons to the New York launch in January 2022, where we doubled the revenue from 2021.”
“This year will expectedly have fewer significant single events than 2022, with the main ones being the summer women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and the launch of sports betting in Massachusetts.
We will continue our growth efforts in LATAM and keep an eye out for new market opportunities. We remain largely unaffected by the macroeconomic environment but will persistently monitor developments.”