Access Intelligence warns of uncertainties despite 'robust' trading
Marketing and communications software company Access Intelligence said in an update on Tuesday that it had traded “robustly” in the financial year just ended, delivering revenue growth of 97% and adjusted EBITDA ahead of consensus expectations, while continuing to “transform and integrate” the Isentia business, acquired in the fourth quarter of 2021
The AIM-traded firm launched Pulsar into the Australia and New Zealand markets in the year ended 30 November, adding that it was “encouraged” by customer engagement with its expanded global product offering.
Its board said it expected total revenue for the 12 months to be about £65.6m, up from £33.3m year-on-year, while it looked to have swung to adjusted EBITDA of £2.3m from a loss of £0.5m, ahead of expectations.
Net cash at year-end on 30 November totalled £4.8m, which was also ahead of consensus forecasts.
Performance in Europe was “on track”, the directors said, with improving annualised recurring revenue and margins, while sales in North America were “challenged” by a slowdown in decision-making at the enterprise level.
Overall annual recurring revenue growth in the two regions for the year totalled £2.5m.
In Asia-Pacific, Access Intelligence said it focussed on ensuring that it had a “stable and profitable” core business to provide it with a platform from which to grow in 2023 and beyond.
It said it had achieved “substantial synergies” in the region, ahead of expectations and ahead of schedule, and sold a number of deals that combined established media monitoring and insights services alongside its audience intelligence offering.
Overall annual recurring revenue for the year across all regions increased £1.1m to a total of £60m as at 30 November.
Looking ahead, Access Intelligence said it would continue its transformation in 2023, with the existing Isentia product in the Asia-Pacific to be replatformed to its “next-generation” product, providing integrated media monitoring, broadcast and social intelligence.
In Europe, the firm said it expected to see an acceleration in annual recurring revenue growth, while in North America it was assuming that the current slowdown in decision-making would continue.
A “streamlined team” would target a smaller number of high-value, high-margin deals, the board said, through a focus on developing enterprise corporate accounts to improve long-term annual recurring revenue.
In the current market conditions, core products continued to perform “very well”, but the board said risk remained around the pace of growth of its premium enterprise intelligence offering, where budgets were under pressure.
The pipeline was described as “strong”, although contract conversion continued to be a risk given the prevailing economic climate.
Across all regions, management said it was focussed on improving margin and cash generation as a priority in 2023, with the group targeting a “substantially improved” adjusted EBITDA margin by 2024.
“Access Intelligence has seen a year of continued transformation with the integration of Isentia progressing well,” said non-executive chairman Christopher Satterthwaite.
“The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and North America region has continued to deliver annual recurring revenue growth including a significant number of blue-chip customers wins, whilst in Asia-Pacific the focus has been on ensuring that the business has a profitable core to support future growth underpinned by the company's next-generation product release in the second quarter of 2023.”
In the near-term, Satterthwaite said the prevailing economic conditions were set to prolong sales cycles for some of the firm’s larger strategic enterprise opportunities, especially in the North American market, but management was focussed on ensuring the business maintained a “lean cost base” to support margins and protect cash flow.
“Access Intelligence remains well placed to take advantage of its global opportunity through its market leading products and award winning media insights offering.”
At 1307 GMT, shares in Access Intelligence were down 28% at 63p.
Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.