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XLMedia set for year of consolidation in 2024

| By Robert Fletcher
Affiliate giant XLMedia has set out plans for “consolidation” in 2024 after revealing it expects to post revenue and adjusted EBITDA in line with expectations for its 2023 financial year.
XLMedia 2024

XLMedia said revenue and adjusted EBITDA will likely be at the lower end of ranges set out in December. Both were forecast to be lower year-on-year due to shortfalls in North America.

In another update, XLMedia says revenue for 2023 will be approximately $50.0m (£39.6m), down 32.2% from the previous year. The group in December forecast between $50.0m and $52.0m.

As for adjusted EBITDA, this should reach $12.0m, a drop of 28.1% from 2022. This is also at the lower end of December’s guidance range of $12.0m to $14.0m.

Mixed news in the US

Going into detail on its performance in 2023, XLMedia says it was impacted by several major developments. 

First, it notes the return to growth of premium European assets including Nettikasinot, WhichBingo and Freebets.com. The group also says it made further progress in replacing legacy technology and implementing further cost reduction measures.

However, following a strong start to the year in the US, with the launch of online sports betting in Ohio, significant changes in operator customer acquisition activity impacted its performance.

Among these was the withdrawal of the Barstool Sportsbook betting brand and subsequent launch of ESPN Bet. XLMedia also noted the substantial spike in revenue in early 2022 after New York launched online sports betting in New York, with 2023 revenue reflecting the reduced scale of state launches in the period.

Preparing for growth in 2025

As for its plans for 2024, XLMedia picks out several highlights. These include the launch of online sport betting in North Carolina, expected in mid-March. 

“North Carolina is expected to be a material market for sports betting,” XLMedia said. “We remain well placed for the launch with both owned and media partner brands.”

While further state launches are not currently planned during 2024, XLMedia expects to see an acceleration in the legalisation of online sports betting in other states after the election later this year. Some 20 states remain without a legal betting market, with some currently in active ballot initiatives.

As such, XLMedia says 2024 will be a year of consolidation for the business, with a focus on both its US and European operations. 

“XLMedia will continue to focus on growing its premium European brands and maximising existing opportunities in the US,” XLMedia said. “The group will look to deliver additional savings to right size the business in preparation for further market growth in 2025.”

Ackroyd exits as CFO at XLMedia

caroline ackroyd will exit as cfo on 31 march

The update comes after XLMedia last month announced Caroline Ackroyd is to resign from her role as chief financial officer.

Ackroyd will leave the business on 31 March. She is stepping down as CFO of XLMedia to take up a position with an operator in the gambling sector.

Ackroyd has served as CFO of the affiliate business since March 2022. She was appointed to the position in November 2021 but did not take up the role until a few months after.

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