Acroud’s operating loss doubles as NDCs decline in strategy shift

By Dan Kleiner


Acroud has announced a doubling of its operating loss for FY2023 to €26.42m as the number of new depositing customers decreased and revenue fell by 1%.

Adjusted EBITDA fell by 44% year-on-year for Q4 but did see a 20% rise from Q3. Revenue, meanwhile, amounted to €9.91m (£8.49m/$10.76m) for the final quarter of the year.

The company posted mixed growth within its igaming affiliate segment, with revenue growing 2% quarter-on-quarter but declining 8% year-on-year. Whereas, software-as-a-service (SaaS) grew 10% from 2022 in Q4. 

Robert Andersson, Acroud CEO, summarised the results as “a mixed quarter full of activity”, noting that the company took “clear steps” in Q4 to achieve its strategic goals.

The CEO stressed that the decision to diversify the business three years ago was still the correct strategy. He also explained that Acroud had shifted focus to “a different type of NDC that has higher value, and naturally, a higher acquisition cost as well.”

Andersson also noted Acroud’s divestment of poker due to its declining performance and implied that this was another reason behind the group’s results.

Q4 mixed results

Group revenue during the three months to 31 December held firm at €9.91m from 2022’s €10.02m. Organic revenue growth also saw a small change with a 0.6% decrease year-on-year.

The adjusted EBITDA drop left Acroud with a figure of €1.41m from 2022’s €2.5m, while its EBITDA margin grew by 18%. Profit after tax saw the group post a loss of €8m and €409,000 for adjusted profit after tax.

The group also saw its NDCs decrease by 46% to 45,627 players, in line with Andersson’s comments on shifting focus to identify a new player type. While for strictly igaming affiliate activities NDCs totalled 28,745, marking a 46.2% drop quarter-on-quarter from Q3.

Breaking down the igaming affiliate performance during the quarter, which saw revenue drop 7.8% to €5.85m year-on-year, sports betting led the way as the group’s highest achieving avenue with €4.98m, marking a 14.7% increase year-on-year. However, casino revenue fell by 71% to €326,000 from €1.12m in 2022 and poker also dropped by 36.8% in line with the group’s divestment strategy.

Revenue share made up 82% of all of Acroud’s affiliate activity, with CPA factoring into 9% of deals with operators and a further 9% for other listed means. Paid media made up 73% of affiliate revenue, with 20% coming from SEO and 7% from social and community-based means.

SaaS holds firm

In Acroud’s SaaS segment, total revenue for the quarter totalled €4.06m, only a 1% decrease from Q3’s €4.11m.

Breaking SaaS down, Acroud’s network model accounted for €3.75m of the €4.06m total revenue, while subscription revenue came in at €310,000. The biggest increase came in network revenue with a 10.6% increase.

The NDCs that were delivered to customers via the network product offered to affiliates and content creators fell by 10% quarter-on-quarter to 16,882 but did see a 9% rise year-on-year.

Acroud’s metric for analysing paying clients on its SaaS segment (revenue generating units or RGUs) remained in line with Q3 from 429 to 436 but also represented a 4% increase from 2022.

Full-year revenue up, EBITDA down

Delving further into Acroud’s full-year performance reveals total group revenue of €39.35m, a 27% increase from 2022’s results. EBITDA however, dropped by 31% to €5.46m and operating loss doubled to €26.42m. 

Affiliate activities recorded a revenue of €24.43m, marking a 57.2% rise year-on-year, with sports betting again responsible for the majority with €20.05m earned. Casino dropped from €5.8m to €1.9m and poker from €3.4m to €2.4m.

Despite its quarter-on-quarter hold, SaaS revenue shrunk in 2023 by 2.8% to €14.93m. Of that, the network side brought in €13.77m compared to €1.16m from subscribers. 

The group also posted a 72.5% increase in losses before tax, which now sit at €30.8m, while its personnel costs also rose to €4.91m from 2022’s €3.676m.

Tax payments for the year were recorded at €403,000, a 29.2% decrease on 2022’s €569,000.

Acroud missed its financial target of growing EBITDA organically by 20% each year from 2023 to 2025 as it ended with a decrease of 62%. Its other target of decreasing net-interest-bearing debt/adjusted EBITDA to 2.5x or lower was met.

“We look forward to continuing our journey towards increased profitability and strengthened shareholder value,” Andersson said as he concluded his remarks.

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