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XLMedia upbeat on full-year targets as growth slows in H1

| By iGB Editorial Team
Affiliate leader’s CEO praises “solid” performance in tough market

XLMedia chief executive Ory Weihs has said that the company expects to meet its profit expectations for the full-year despite seeing a reduction in growth across a number of key financials in the six months to the end of June.

Revenue in the first half totalled $59.1m (£45.2m/€50.4m), down from $67.9m in the corresponding period last year.

Gross profit also dropped from $35.3m to $33.5m while adjusted EBITDA slipped from $22.8m to $20.9m.

Weihs (pictured) said the results represent a “solid profit performance” for the firm, adding that the company had to contend with “regulatory pressures and challenging market conditions” in the online gaming market during the period.

In a statement issued to iGamingBusiness.com, XLMedia cited the closure of the Australian online casino market at the end of 2017, as well as uncertainty over regulation in key European markets such as Germany and changes to gambling advertising regulations in the UK.

XLMedia said European Union GDPR regulation, which became effective in May 2018, is also applicable across a number of its territories.

Optimism over full-year profit goals will come as a boost to XLMedia, which in June saw shares tumble after it issued a profit warning. Its current share price of around 106p is more than 50% down on its peak of 220p last December

“The group produced a solid profit performance in the first half, albeit against a backdrop of regulatory pressures and challenging market conditions in the online gambling sector,” Weihs said.

“However, we are now seeing positive signals and expect to meet profit expectations for the full year.”

Weihs also pointed out a number of key highlights in the first half, such as the firm’s acquisition of UK online bingo comparison platform WhichBingo for $10.5m

XLMedia also snapped up Finnish gambling related informational websites for $18m in the period, as well as three US personal finance informational websites for $5.9m.

The company followed this up with the purchase of US personal finance website Investorjunkie.com shortly after the end of the period.

Weihs added: “Since the beginning of this year we have been focusing on implementing our strategy and executing acquisitions in order to accelerate growth, allocating over $45m of capital for acquisitions.

“Our newly acquired assets perform as expected and we are confident they will deliver a strong return.”

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