CentralNic Group plc (LON:CNIC), the global internet platform company that derives recurring revenue from the sales of online presence and marketing services, has today announced an update on the positive trading momentum experienced in the early part of 2022 alongside details of the completion of two strategic acquisitions. Additionally, details of three publicly accessible investor presentations are set out below as part of CentralNic’s ongoing commitment to engagement with retail investors.
Current Trading Update
The Company is pleased to announce that the strong growth experienced during 2021 has continued into 2022. The year on year revenue growth experienced during Q1 to date, which has been driven largely by the performance of the Online Marketing segment, is materially ahead of the revenue growth rates implied by analyst consensus expectations for the full year to 31 December 2022. Given the early stage of the current financial year the Directors have yet to fully ascertain the expected impact on full year performance, which should however be at least at or above the high end of market expectations*. Further commentary on the outlook for 2022 will be included within the Company’s 2021 results announcement, scheduled for 28 February 2022.
CentralNic has entered into agreements to acquire Fireball Search GmbH (“Fireball”) as well as the .ruhr Top-Level Domain (TLD) (“.ruhr”) for a total aggregate consideration of EUR 0.6m in cash. The acquisitions are expected to complete immediately and on or around 31 May 2022 respectively and will be financed from available cash resources.
Founded in 1996, Fireball was once the leading search engine in Germany, and the name retains high consumer awareness, despite being acquired by and merged into Lycos Europe in the early 2000s. In 2016, Fireball was re-established as an independent company, with a completely overhauled version of the service, including a strong focus on privacy, a core value of CentralNic. Search results are powered by Bing. Fireball opens up new traffic sources for CentralNic to monetise through its proprietary Online Marketing tools, and it adds alternative monetisation channels for CentralNic to generate revenues from internet traffic.
.ruhr is the domain address for the urban agglomeration centred around the river Ruhr in Germany, consisting of c.50 cities, including Dortmund and Essen, with roughly 5 million inhabitants. There are currently c.10k domain names registered using the .ruhr Top-Level Domain. .ruhr will be migrated from its existing service providers and will be fully managed by CentralNic’s internal resources, joining another German regional TLD, .saarland.
Combined historical revenue and EBITDA for both acquisitions are c.EUR 0.2m and c.EUR 0.1m respectively. The acquisitions are expected to be immediately earnings accretive.
Ben Crawford, CEO of CentralNic Group, said “We are encouraged by the organic growth that CentralNic is continuing to deliver so far in 2022, and, in particular, the strong performance of our online marketing division. Our privacy-safe solutions are gaining traction, while competing solutions that collect private user data, and so require GDPR or IDFA consent, lose market share. Whilst it is still very early in our financial year, we are extremely encouraged by the continuation of the growth that we saw in 2021 and look forward to giving a further update on trading at the time of our 2021 results release on 28 February 2022.”
“Regarding our most recent acquisitions, owning and operating Top-Level Domain (“TLD”) registries has proven to be a very successful vertical integration strategy for our company, which already has all the resources required, including being the market leader in the global distribution of new TLDs. At the same time, the acquisition of Fireball increases the portfolio of privacy-focused solutions for our rapidly expanding Online Marketing customer base.”
“Finally we are committed to engage with our increasing retail following ever more frequently, hopefully also in person when the global health situation permits.”