Q1: We are accelerating in North America as European advertisers take a measured approach

First quarter 2022 (Q1 2022)

  • Strong net sales growth of 51% (74%) and quarterly net sales of 298.3 million Swedish crowns (197.4)
  • Organic growth in net sales of 40% (86%) taking into account currency effects
  • Gross margin at a good 36% (36%)
  • Adj. EBITDA margin reached -23% (-17%)
  • Adj. EBITDA of -67.8 million SEK (-33.6)
  • Operating loss of -SEK 80.0 million (-44.4)
  • Net loss for the period impacted by positive currency effects and amounting to -73.2 million SEK (-49.2)
  • Cash flow from operating activities of -SEK 64.0 million (1.1)
  • Basic and diluted earnings per share for the period SEK-0.41 (-0.37)
  • Plays reached 1,256 million (872) and ARPL improved to SEK0.24 (0.23)

Highlights of the first quarter of 2022

  • The number of shows reached 47,000 during the quarter, while key podcasts such as Framgångspodden, Anna Faris is unqualified and Peter Crouch Podcast has joined A casting
  • High UK show Sh**ged.Married. Annoyed has renewed its contract with A casting for three years
  • Acast+ is now available to all podcasters. A casting will win c. 15% of net revenue from each subscriber contribution
  • A casting entered into a partnership with BuzzFeed, Inc. A casting will develop and launch six podcasts of BuzzFeed Studiosas well as monetize them through advertisements, sponsorships and paid subscriptions
  • The nominating committee of Acast AB proposed that John Harrobin and Samantha Skey be elected as new members of the board of directors at the general meeting May 17, 2022. John Harrobin is nominated for election as Chairman of the Board of Directors

CEO Comments: We are accelerating in North America as European advertisers take a measured approach

During the first quarter of the year, A casting continued to consolidate its position as the world’s leading open podcast ecosystem. The number of shows connected to A casting increased from 40,000 to 47,000, while the number of plays increased by 44% compared to the same period last year. And, as we grow this portfolio of podcasts, we also increase the potential for generating ad revenue, especially in North Americawhere sales grew by triple digits despite a more measured approach from European advertisers at the start of the year

MORE CREATORS CHOOSE ACAST

During the first months of the year, several podcasting giants joined A casting. One of Sweden’s biggest podcasts, Framgångspodden, joined in January. Shortly after, we were able to announce that the movie and podcast star Anna Faris chose A casting as a partner to help him grow and monetize his wildly popular show, Anna Faris is unqualified. And, if that wasn’t enough, That Peter Crouch Podcast – one of the biggest football shows in the UK – also did A casting his house.

And in addition so many other creators, whatever their size, continue to choose A casting as a partner. We started 2022 hosting around 40,000 shows, but that number has already risen to 47,000 – highlighting that A casting is a company on the right track.

BACKSIDE OF FUTURE MONETIZATION, WITH CAUTION

As the number of podcasts increases, so does the number of people who listen to them, which means that the podcast advertising market continues to grow and take a share of advertiser spend. But the proportion of advertising in podcasts is still generally very low compared to other media, which highlights the opportunity for an increase in the future.

In podcasts, only about 5% of the content is advertising. In commercial radio, this figure is more like 15 to 20%, and for television, it is 20 to 25%. Even compared to other all-digital media, the proportion of advertising in podcasts is still relatively low – and this offers us the opportunity to gradually increase advertising in podcasts, which will benefit us and our creators in the future. ‘coming.

That said, at the start of 2022, we have seen emerging global changes that we must take into account. the Russian invasion of Ukrainefor example, affects everyone — and A casting is no exception. Our exposure to Ukraine and Russia is limited both from the point of view of creators domiciled in each country and from the point of view of advertisers. Our thoughts are primarily with those directly affected by the war.

ADAPTING OUR PACE OF INVESTMENT

However, the macroeconomic situation has had an impact on market sentiment, and rising interest rates and inflation are affecting us, mainly because advertisers are cautious and may adjust their investments. We are monitoring developments closely and proactively adapting our investment decisions accordingly.

As a fast-growing company in a fast-growing industry, however, we will continue, through deliberate investment, to accelerate in markets where we continue to see strong growth.

ACCELERATED GROWTH IN NORTH AMERICA

After our strong fourth quarter last year, we had a strong start to the year in 2022. Globally, first quarter net sales growth reached 51% compared to the same period in 2021, and all markets continue to grow. We grew by 35% in Europe and 47% in other markets. In North Americawe are delighted to see that our investment there has translated into sales growth of 107% compared to the first quarter of 2021.

During the quarter, we also targeted selective investments in product development as well as sales and marketing. Our sales and marketing costs are impacted by the fact that we have deepened our collaboration with our podcast creators, who act as our brand ambassadors. Continued investment in product development aimed at attracting podcast creators has led to an influx of podcasts to our platform and contributed to our strong growth in listens.

CLOSING THE APPLICATION ACCORDING TO THE PLAN

As previously communicated, A casting closes his listening application as expected. The app was launched in 2014 at a time when there were very few ways for people to listen to podcasts. Closing the app also allows us to focus solely on our core mission: helping podcasters find their audience on all listening platforms around the world and enabling brands to advertise on those listens.

ACAST’S JOURNEY CONTINUES

A casting continues to work hard to meet the growing demand from creators and advertisers in our various markets around the world, promoting the open podcast ecosystem and its leading position within the creator economy. We remain close to macroeconomic developments in general, and the advertising market in particular, and have a clear path to navigate this changing environment.

We do all of this together, as a team, so I would like to conclude by thanking all the fantastic A casting employees accompanying me on this journey. Our work continues.

Ross AdamsChief executive officer

Presentation of the report

CEO Ross Adams and financial director Emilie Villatte will present the report via conference call and webcast today, May 17 at 10:00 a.m. EST. The presentation will be in English and will end with a question-and-answer session.

Link to the presentation: https://tv.streamfabriken.com/acast-q1-report-2022

Telephone numbers for the conference call:
Sweden: +46 850558365
UK: +44 3333009263
UNITED STATES: +1 6319131422
UNITED STATES PIN: 91829137#

Link to report

The interim report is attached to this press release and available at https://investors.acast.com/

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