XLMedia launched in a number of additional states during the past 12 months following the legalisation of online gambling, including in New York, which opened its regulated internet sports wagering market in January 2022.
The group also launched in Maryland later in 2022, while after the year-end, XLMedia went live with its affiliate offering in Ohio to coincide with the market’s opening on 1 January. Plans are also in place to launch in Massachusetts following the roll-out of legal online sports betting earlier this month.
This growth, XLMedia said, offset declines in Europe, with chief executive David King saying its Europe business continues to build back following the recent restructure.
The group in December revealed it had held talks with various parties regarding the potential sale of its personal finance division as part of this process, with the aim of switching its focus to growing in North America.
“We made good progress in 2022, having re-engineered the business to become one of the leading sports betting affiliates in North America and our US business is expected to continue to evolve at a rapid pace as the market starts to migrate from up-front acquisition payment to revenue share agreements,” King said.
“However, our mix of media and betting brands, both owned and partnered, are well placed in that environment to build sustainable revenues. Within our European sports and gaming operations, our teams continue to build back our business following the recent restructure.”
Looking at the full year results, revenue from continuing operations for the 12 months to 31 December 2022 amounted to $71.8m (£58.3m/€66.2m), up from $57.8m in 2021 and in line with forecasts published in January this year.
Core revenue, which was revenue excluding discontinued personal finance activities, affiliate network revenue and external agency revenue, also increased 27.5% to $54.6m.
Breaking down this performance, $48.3m of continuing operations’ core revenue came from cost-per-acquisition, while $18.5m was attributed to revenue share agreements and $2.8m fixed.
In terms of category, XLMedia said $54.0m of all revenue in 2022 was generated by sports betting, up 72.0% year-on-year. In contrast, casino revenue stood at $15.6m, which was 32.8% lower than in the previous year.
XLMedia also published a breakdown of geographical performance to demonstrate growth in North America. Revenue from North America sports betting operations reached $46.4m and gaming $1.3m, while European sports wagering revenue was $7.6m and casino $14.3m.
Turning to costs, operating expenses were down slightly to $36.6m, but sales and marketing spend jumped 80.3% to $22.7m, while deprecation and amortisation edged up to $7.3m.
When also including $1.8m worth of finance costs, this left a pre-tax profit of $4.0m, up 233.3% year-on-year. XLMedia paid $1.6m in tax, resulting in a net profit of $2.4m, down 14.3% on 2021 after the group benefited from an income tax benefit in the previous year, while adjusted EBITDA climbed 17.9% to $17.8m.
XLMedia also published results for its discontinued operations, which generated a pre-tax loss of $11.8m, in contrast to a $2.8m in the previous year. Net loss from these activities amounted to $9.8m.
“2022 has been an important year for refocusing the business and I’m pleased with the progress we have made,” King said. “While still early into the new year, I’m confident XLMedia is in a stronger position as a result of the actions we took and I look forward to updating on our continued progress in 2023.”