Better Collective monitoring AI potential amid record second quarter

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Better Collective has stood by heightened full-year financial guidance, as the firm takes additional glances towards artificial intelligence and potential M&A manoeuvres to drive its performance forward further still.

The former has seen the company stand by financial targets that were revealed earlier in the year, with revenue expectations standing at €315m-€325m, which would mark growth of three per cent year-on-year. EBITDA is expected to close the year at €105m-€115m.

However, despite acknowledging the numerous AI plus points, such as automating repetitive tasks to free up crucial time and resources, staying on top of potential difficulties, particularly within the realm of search engines, has been highlighted as key for the company.

Jesper Søgaard, Co-Founder & CEO, commented: “As AI becomes more sophisticated, search engines adapt to deliver more accurate and personalised search results. Such developments may lead to changes in algorithms and ranking criteria, which could impact the future search landscape. 

“Staying on top of these changes while ensuring that our content remains optimised and aligned with search engine guidelines are crucial elements in upholding Better Collective’s online presence and competitive edge. 

“At Better Collective we have long recognised AI’s impact and that is why our teams are busy exploring AI driven solutions, potential M&As, as well as ways to leverage its potential and mitigate risks. By utilising AI technology alongside the integration of human finesse, I trust that we can deliver the best service to our audiences.”

With the impact of previous entries into the M&A arena praised, such as that of Skycon, record revenue through an “exceptional” second quarter second quarter swelled 39 per cent to close at €78.11m (2022: €56m), while EBITDA increased of 135 per cent to €29m (2022: €12m), with a margin of 37 per cent.

Further headline results were bolstered by a 32 per cent increase in new depositing customers to 500,000, driving the uptick in revenue and generating a 54 per cent rise in operating profit from €9.6m to €20.7m.

Analysing the company’s performance through Q2, Søgaard continued: “This was driven by strong performance across the group, while highlighting the Americas, our media partnerships, and a sports win margin above our expectations. 

“The FIFA Women’s World Cup only generated subtle activity likely due to the inconvenient kick-off times for our key markets. An impressive +10 million Brazilian fans watched the matches played by their national team, which underlines the great opportunities we see in this enthusiastic market.”

On the revenue front, Better Collective’s publishing segment witnessed 41 per cent growth to €53.54m, while paid media swelled 37 per cent to €24.56m (2022: €17.91m).

Geographically, the company’s Europe and the rest of the world division saw revenue close at €55.18m, up 32 per cent YoY from €41.71m.

With “high growth” reported across South America, the group also shared a belief that the Uk government’s Gambling Act review white paper will have “zero to limited financial impact”.

Revenue across North America increased 60 per cent to €22.92m (2022: 14.32m), with Søgaard highlighting the “strategic vision and execution” demonstrated by its team.

He added: “We constantly seek to become even more relevant to our partners through brand awareness, customer acquisition, re-activation, and retention, which is an exercise we are fine tuning in North America. 

“In Q2 last year, we continued our investments despite tougher market conditions in North America and posted a negative EBITDA during that quarter. I am proud to see that we are now reaping the benefits.”

For the year-to-date, revenue is up 35 per cent to €166.1m (2022: €123.4m), with paid media leading an increase in costs to €104m (2022: €88m) and operating profit reaching €48.79m (2022: €28.28m).

Post quarterly trading saw revenue continue to climb 39 per cent year-on-year in July to reach €23m (2022: €14m), buoyed by the signing of new agreements and completion of acquisitions.

“Our commitment to delivering long -term success over here -and -now gratification has resulted in solid Q2 performance,” Søgaard closed.

“Being able to fuel an already strong momentum while delivering good performances reflects all of my colleagues’ dedication, laser focus and hard work.”