Catena Media ‘leaner and more focused’ after ‘transformative’ 2022

Transformative concept
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Catena Media has highlighted the progress it has made with its North American operations in its 2022 annual report.

Reflecting on the results, CEO Michael Daly called 2022 a “transformative year” for the business, adding that the organisation has become “leaner and more focused” and is “well-equipped” to capitalise on gambling media affiliations in the US and Canada.

The firm added that it successfully scaled back its activities in unregulated grey markets and has also streamlined its European operations.

Catena Media’s transformative 2022

Publishing its 2022 report, Catena Media declared a seven per cent increase year-over-year in revenue up to €110.1m (2021: €102.8m), with new depositing customers growing by 2 per cent to 354,050 (2021: 345,963).

North American operations contributed €84.5m in revenue, a 24 per cent uptick YoY (2021: €67.9m).

Catena Media also noted that 90 per cent of its revenue now comes from regulated markets as it scaled back its activities in unregulated markets throughout the year. It also streamlined its European organisation, achieving €5.5m in annualised cost savings.

The firm’s adjusted EBITDA for the year came in at €50.1m, a 16 per cent decrease YoY (2021: €59.5m) with a margin of 46 per cent (2021: 58 per cent).

Operating income for 2022 finished at €28.4m, an improvement on the previous year’s loss of €3.9m. Profit for the year came in at €7.5m, an increase on the loss of €7.2m reported in 2021.

“2022 was a transformative year for Catena Media, as we optimised our readiness to capture key growth opportunities in North America,” commented Daly.

“With 90 per cent of our revenue now derived from regulated markets, we have a leaner and more focused organisation that is well-equipped to capitalise on the potential of online sports betting and casino media affiliation in the United States and Canada.”

Casino revenue falls as sports rise

Per segment, casino revenues fell by 17 per cent in 2022 to €54.2m (2021: €65.2m), with new depositing customers dropping by 11 per cent to 194,251 (2021: 219,165).

Adjusted EBITDA for the segment also decreased by 40 per cent to €26m (2021: €43.6m) with a margin of 48 per cent (2021: 67 per cent).

Catena Media highlighted the launch of igaming in Ontario, an online casino controversy in Japan, its first major US media deal with Advance Local, and it also restructured its European operations to focus more on North American growth including the sale of AskGamblers for €45m.

Operations were discontinued in several European countries including Germany, with Italy remaining its sole market in the region.

In North America, Michigan was spotlighted as its largest market, followed by Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Ontario also had a positive contribution.

Catena Media’s sports segment enjoyed a record year, with revenue rising by 49 per cent in 2022 to €55.9m (2021: €37.6m) with new depositing customers also improving by 26 per cent to 159,799 (2021: 126,798).

Adjusted EBITDA for the segment grew by 52 per cent on the year to €24.2m (2021: €15.8m) with a margin of 43 per cent (2021: 42 per cent).

During the year, New York, Louisiana, Ontario, Kansas and Maryland launched sports betting, with the Empire State ending 2022 as the largest market. The firm’s partnership with Advance Local helped with expanding audiences in New Jersey and other states.

Meanwhile, in Europe, the World Cup helped Italy and the UK deliver higher revenue, ending the year as the group’s two core markets in the region, while operations in Germany were scaled back.

Catena also highlighted several sustainability initiatives including the resumption of the Catena Academy, joining the United Nations Global Compact, launching its global travel platform Travelperk, and expanding its global mental health programme.

For 2023, Catena Media will focus on efficient and disciplined operations in high-growth North American markets, build on its casino affiliation business in Japan, maintain its talent investment globally, capture new vertical potential, develop readiness for new market launches, and maintain strong margins through operating efficiencies in all geographies.