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Acquisitions drive revenue up 113.8% at Acroud in 2021

| By Robert Fletcher
Affiliate marketing business Acroud said new acquisitions helped drive revenue up 113.8% year-on-year in its 2021 financial year, though costs associated with these purchases led to a drop in net profit.

Revenue for the 12 months to 31 December 2021 was €24.8m (£20.8m/$28.2m), up from €11.6m in the previous year, on the back of its new acquisitions, while the number of new depositing customers (NDCs) hiked 267.2% to 133,195.

Acroud made a number of purchases throughout the year including Power Media Group in January, which in turn allowed it to offer software-as-a-service (SaaS), as well as affiliate business TheGamblingCabin in April.

However, towards the end of the year, Acroud revealed that it was to lay off around 20 staff as it pivots to a more software-driven business model, in a move it said would cut outgoings by approximately €1.2m in 2022.

Taking a closer look at costs for the year, personnel expenses were up 21.6% year-on-year to €4.5m. However, the main outgoing for Acroud was other external expenses, many of which were associated with its acquisitions, with these costs hiking 333.3% to €16.9m.

As a result, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 14.6% to €4.7m, while after accounting for €1.9m in depreciation and amortisation costs, operating profit was €2.8m, down 34.9%.

Acroud also noted €2.1m in financial costs, leaving a pre-tax profit of €638,000, a 58.4% drop from €1.5m at the same point in 2020. The business received €81,000 in income tax benefits, meaning it ended the year with a €719,000 net profit, down 42.8% year-on-year.

In terms of the fourth quarter, revenue for the three months to 31 December was 160.0% higher at €6.5m, a new record for the business. Breaking this down, Acroud said its igaming segment contributed €2.7m to the revenue total, while its new SaaS business generated €3.8m.

NDCs for the quarter also jumped 187.1% to 32,328, almost as many as in the whole of 2020 (36,275).

Personnel costs were 30.6% higher at €1.1m, while external expenses climbed 353.6% to €5.0m for the quarter. EBITDA declined 36.8% to €817,000, while after depreciation and amortisation, operating profit was €274,000, down 75.2%.

Financial costs were 72.7% lower at €465,000, meaning pre-tax loss was reduced from €595,000 to €191,000. After paying €165,000 in income tax, this left a €356,000 net loss for the quarter, an improvement on the €685,000 loss posted in Q4 of 2020.

“After multiple acquisitions, we have taken a big step towards becoming a more software-driven affiliate and have successfully executed cost synergies with the launch of our efficiency programme,” Acroud president and chief executive Robert Andersson said.

“This means that we are able to do more with fewer people. We expect to see the significant effects on EBITDA levels from this programme in 2022 and onwards.

“Admittedly Acroud has had some challenges over the last few years, but with bold plans and projects being implemented since Q4 2021, and with the great team we have now in place, 2022 will be a bright year for us.”

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