LONDON (SHARECAST) - Digital sports media company Perform Group swung to a profit for the six months ended June 30th after turnover got a boost from increased licence fees from the Watch and Bet service, strong growth in video and display advertising sales, and incremental revenue from the RunningBall and Spox services.
Pre-tax profit came in at £3.4m, up from a loss £2.2m in the same period last year, on revenues of £67.4m, compared with £45.1m previously.
Excluding RunningBall and Spox, which generated £1.2m and £3.2m in revenue respectively, revenues climbed 40% year-on-year.
The increase in earnings was slightly offset by an increase in the cost of sales, from £24.1m to £33.2m, and a rise in administrative expenses, from £22.98m to £30.57m.
The gross margin increased from 46% to 51% as revenues grew and the firm's operating leverage delivered.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) leapt from £0.063m to £7.2m. Basic earnings per share came in at 1.2p compared to a loss of 1p per share the same half the previous year.
The group expects both revenues and adjusted EBITDA to increase in the second half, as a result of the inclusion of six months of the RunningBall and Mackolik services, as well as continued improvement in display and video advertising sales across the group's network, particularly in Japan and US.
During the second half the company plans to continue to invest in products, including new editions of Goal.com, in new platforms and in expanding its international presence.
Oliver Slipper, joint Chief Executive Officer said: "We are pleased to be able to report another strong operational and financial performance today, which reflects the successful execution of our growth strategy. We have reported substantial increases in revenues and earnings whilst significantly expanding our rights portfolio, licensees, video streams and subscriber numbers. We have also delivered significant growth in advertising revenues with this revenue segment now representing 22% of the group's total revenues compared to 11% in the same period last year."
The firm added: "The group has made a positive start to H2, with July and August showing strong year-on-year growth in revenues, EBITDA and operational metrics in line with expectations. We have significant visibility over full year revenues, with in excess of £131m already contracted, and remain confident that we will deliver strong full year revenue and EBITDA growth in line with the board's expectations. We will continue to invest in our core products to ensure they can be accessed across multiple platforms and to increase our international reach."
Closing cash was £34.5m (H1 2011: £78.4m), while closing debt was £9.7m (H1 2011: £15.2m). Net funds at the period end were £24.8m (H1 2011: £63.2m).
No dividend has been proposed as the firm remains in its current growth phase.
The share price fell 0.67% to 372.50p by 08:45.