CentralNic reports solid first quarter growth
Online service provider CentralNic reported an improvement in both revenue and adjusted EBITDA in the March quarter on Monday, driven by a combination of acquisitions and underlying organic growth.
The AIM-traded firm said revenue increased 86% to $156.6m (£124.54m), up from $84.4m in the first quarter of last year.
It said organic growth for the trailing 12 months to 31 March was 53%.
Gross profit improved 43% to $39.9m, while adjusted EBITDA was ahead 83% to $18.5m and operating profit surged to $10.0m from $1.4m.
Non-core operating expenses reduced 63% to $1.1m, and the company reported adjusted operating cash conversion of 128%, down from 163% a year earlier but “ahead of historic averages”.
Net debt narrowed by 18% year-on-year to $61.3m.
On the operational front, the company said its organic growth further accelerated during the period, driven by investments in new management, staff and systems.
EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue increased to 46% from 36% a year earlier, which the board said demonstrated that CentralNic's growth was translating into operating leverage.
Looking ahead, CentralNic said its first quarter results demonstrated the “potential of its strong marketplace model” for online presence and online marketing services.
The board said it was confident that the firm was “comfortably” trading in line with its recently-upgraded forecasts.
“CentralNic has enjoyed a strong start to the year with year-on-year organic growth now reaching north of 50%, gaining market share in a growing market,” said chief executive officer Ben Crawford.
“At the same time, we have continued to add scale and capability through the completion of three strategic acquisitions in the period, including VGL, our largest acquisition to date, funded by an oversubscribed equity placing and tap bond issue.
“With notably reduced leverage and a healthy cash cushion, CentralNic remains well positioned for the future.”
CentralNic said it would issue a first-half trading update on 18 July.
At 1124 BST, shares in CentralNic Group were up 7.25% at 140.5p.
Reporting by Josh White at Sharecast.com.