Better Collective Q1: Revenue growth yet profit drops due to “extraordinary” 2023

By Dan Kleiner


Better Collective has announced it recorded a revenue in Q1 of €95m (£81.1m/$103.1m), which represents a growth year-on-year of 8% with the recent Google updates not affecting the affiliate’s bottom line.

Recurring revenue did also increase from €47m to €53m, by a margin of 14%.

The company did however see its EBITDA drop 13% from the first three months of 2023, down from €33m to €29m. This was an expected result after what Better Collective calls “extraordinary performance” in 2023.

Group EBITDA-margin came in at 31% and was impacted by two recent acquisitions in Playmaker Capital, completed in Feb for €176m, and Playmaker $54m. The affiliate has called both deals “short term margin dilutive”.

Organic revenue growth also suffered slightly with a six percent decrease year-on-year, again pinned to the performance of Better Collective’s brands following major US launches in 2023 where CPA models were preferred resulting in significant upfront revenues.

The company likewise also saw its profit after tax dip from €21m to €7.5m with amortisation and impairment charges rising to €8.2m from 2023’s €3.9m following both Playmaker purchases.

It also delivered over 450,000 new depositing customers in the opening three months of 2024, with 77% of them coming on revenue share contracts.

Publishing remains king

Publishing increased its share of group revenue by 3% to 70% year-on-year as activities brought in €66.3m for Better Collective. This represented a 12% increase from Q1 2023 which managed a revenue of €59.2m.

Better Collective noted that its publishing income revenue share was lower than expected due to sports margins and a 10% drop in football games played across Europe and South Africa compared to the year before.

Paid media saw no movement with a revenue of €28.7m, nearly identical to 2023’s financials. A flat development driven by the Skycon acquisition is given as a reason with organic growth down by 18%, whereas 2023 brought a rise of 51%.

Location, location, location

Europe and the rest of the world also increased in its revenue proportion for the sports media group from 58% to 64% year-on-year. Revenue also jumped up 20% from 2023’s €50.8m to €61m, while operating profit also saw a rise in the same period by 6%.

North American operations naturally dropped in share of group revenue by six percent down to 36% and revenue fell by eight percent to €34m. The biggest decrease came in operating profit before depreciation and amortisation which dropped by 50% from €14.5m to €7.3m year-on-year.

Better Collective pointed to the ongoing revenue share transition and state launch comparison from 2023 as to why results were down.

Good start to 2024

Jesper Søgaard, Better Collective co-founder and CEO, thanked his team for the Q1 performance noting the revenue results and growth in recurring revenue.

“Organic revenue was down due to the extraordinary delivery during Q1 last year,” said Søgaard.

“We continued diversifying our revenue streams to future proof our business while investing in our Adtech platform, AdVantage and AI projects, which will support us in our journey towards becoming the leading digital sports media group. Looking forward, I am excited for the Summer with many major sports events ahead of us.”

Beyond the quarter

BC was "working closely together with all parties involved” to address the drop in rankings and traffic to some of its mainstream media partnerships such as The Telegraph, but consequently had seen an uplift in the performance of some of its owned and operated sports media, it revealed.

Other significant events outside of the reporting period included the acquisition of UK sports affiliate AceOdds for €42m.

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