Shares in BetMakers have surged more than 6% after the company announced a new round of leadership changes and a renewed commitment to generating positive cash-flow over the coming months.
The management moves include the departure of North American CEO Christian Stuart, effective 6 April, as well as the promotion of Chelsey Abbott to the executive team as chief people officer.
In January, the ASX-listed supplier already reshuffled its executive team, with Jake Henson (pictured) being promoted from COO to CEO.
Commenting on Stuart’s departure, Henson thanked him for his service and commitment and wished him all the best for his next challenge.
Stuart added: “It has been a pleasure working with the team and advancing the interests of the company here in the US. I am confident we will see the company go from strength to strength as the US market expands.”
Aiming for positive cash-flow
Meanwhile, BetMakers said it remained committed to moving “the business into a position of positive cash-flow generation” and positioning itself to capitalise on organic and inorganic growth over the next 18 months.
Although BetMakers reported a 7.5% increase in revenue for the first half of its 2023 financial year, which ended on 31 December 2022, the company reported an adjusted EBITDA loss for the period of A$15.4m.
Moreover, BetMakers share price has fallen by more than 73% during the past 12 months.
However, the new management team has pledged to focus on reducing and normalising costs in the second half of this year.
The company has relocated its headquarters from Newcastle, New South Wales, to Melbourne, where the CEO and other executive members are based.
Las Vegas-based executive chairman Matt Davey said he was pleased to see the progress the team had made both internally and with key industry stakeholders.
“Moving forward, we will continue to execute on market expansion and a relentless focus on optimising our business,” he concluded.
Shares in Better Collective have gained more than 6% in early morning trading after the affiliate giant upgraded its organic revenue growth projection for 2022 to 34%.
The firm had previously targeted an annual growth rate between 20% and 30%.
Q4 revenue came in at €86.1m, giving a growth rate of 63% year-on-year, of which 44% was organic.
In the US, Better Collective reported Q4 revenue of €33.9m, up 71% year-on-year.
The company also reported Q4 EBITDA before special items of €35.2m, an increase of 115%, at a margin of 41%.
Better Collective attributed the growth to a “strong and broadly based performance” combined with an extraordinarily well performing World Cup, alongside a solid launch of regulated sports betting in the US state of Maryland.
Full year results
For the full year 2022, Better Collective reported revenue of €269.3m, up 52% year-on-year, with 34% organic growth.
The company’s US revenue for the year was $100.3m, up 102% year-on-year.
Better Collective also reported EBITDA before special items of €85.1m, an increase of 53% compared to 2021, at a margin of 32%.
Shift to revenue share model
Better Collective revealed that when releasing its original 2022 financial targets, it assumed that US revenue would consist only of upfront payments on a cost-per-acquisition (CPA) basis.
However during Q4, the company continued a push towards a revenue share model in the US market and has seen a full year impact of €14.7m, which is up from €10m as guided in Q3.
The company stressed that it met its EBITDA guidance despite absorbing a larger than expected shift towards future revenue share income.
Better Collective remains positive about this shift from one-time payments to recurring revenue, as it points to future growth and better long-term sportsbook partnerships.
Catena Media shareholding
Last week, Better Collective acquired a position of more than 5% in rival affiliate business Catena Media.
The company said it is “satisfied with the position” and declined to comment further, leaving the industry in a state of speculation.
Both companies have gained recognition as “super affiliates” in the iGaming industry, having acquired several other affiliates and established a strong presence in the rapidly growing US online market.
In January, Catena Media confirmed that third parties had shown interest in acquiring the entire company, following the sale of its AskGamblers website to Gaming Innovation Group for €45m.
Better Collective’s portfolio includes Action Network, VegasInsider.com, HLTV.org, FUTBIN. com, and bettingexpert.com.
Malta-based affiliate business Catena Media has reported a 2% year-on-year revenue decrease to €32.3m, which it mainly attributed to worsening macro-economic conditions. It also posted a 29% decline in adjusted EBITDA to €11.7m, corresponding to an adjusted EBITDA margin of 36%.
The good news is that Catena Media saw an 11% year-on-year rise in revenue to €18.6m in the North American market in Q3, equivalent to 58% of group revenue. Growth was led by the launch of licensed online sports betting in Kansas in September and a strong NFL season start.
However, Catena Media’s Q3 was mainly shaped by reorganisation and restructuring as the company continued its strategic review, which consumed “a great deal of operational energy” and was a “difficult process for the organisation”, according to CEO Michael Daly.
Cost-cutting measures led to a reduction in European headcount of more than 25% and generated combined annualised savings of €5.5m. These savings, which were above Catena’s initial target of €5m, will apply in full from January 2023.
The company said that the review is nearing completion, with certain assets currently in a divestment phase. Catena Media said it would be able to provide a full overview in Q4. “Amid significant interest from multiple parties, this process is being managed by an external adviser and is approaching a conclusion,” Daly said.
Going forward, Catena said in Europe its focus will be on the UK and Italy. However, the firm’s chief focus would continue to be on the North American market, which is already its “strongest business”.
Catena Media CEO Michael Daly: “Once the strategic review is behind us, I look forward to the organisation redoubling its focus on the highly promising Latam market. I fully expect that we will soon begin to see this dynamic region take on a significant role in our Americas story. Another exciting area is esports, where our Esports.net brand reported exceedingly rapid user growth in Q3 and where I see rich opportunities ahead.”
On the company’s Q3 earnings call, Catena Media’s German business was put under the microscope. Daly commented: “We are sending traffic to a number of operators and the conversion rates are not very healthy from our perspective.”
He added that operators in Germany are still having “trouble with some of the new rules and regulations” and the market “still hasn’t stabilised”.
Daly said he would not exclude that Germany “will grow into a very significant market” for the company someday. “We are being cautious on Germany.
We are keeping our teams in place and working on our products, but we don’t have the greatest of expectation that it blossoms as a market in the next six to 12 months,” he added.
Current trading & forecast
Between January and September 2022, Catena Media generated revenue of €106.4m, an increase of 2% compared to the same period in 2021.
Catena Media reconfirmed its 2021-2025 financial targets, which include profitable double-digit organic growth annually, with the US as the core growth driver.
Some investors made an exit upon the presentation of Q3 results, with Catena Media’s share price falling more than 16% today (17 November).