Catena Media, co-founder of the Catena Media US affiliate portfolio which includes PlayUSA.com, has posted its Q1 financial update this week, heaping praise on the strong performance of its stateside business.
The igaming and financial affiliate reported Q1 revenue ahead by 53% to $49.7m (2020: $32.6m), while organic search revenue increased by 61% to $46.9m (2020: $29.2m). Paid revenue saw a fall to $2.8m (2020: $2.9m).
Updating investors, CEO Michael Daly cited a “very strong start to the year” with revenue and earnings reaching all-time quarterly highs thanks to exceptional performance in North America and solid gains in other parts of the business.
He noted: “Special credit goes to North America, where year-on-year revenue jumped more than 200%, supported by the successful launch of operations in Michigan and Virginia during January. Several other US states are moving towards opening their markets and we see potential for one or more of these to go live later this year.
“Likewise, the Canadian market is opening up and Ontario is projected to come online later this year or at the start of 2022. Our strategic preparations and financial strength preposition us for multiple new market launches and we are fully ready to act as soon as they come on stream.”
Daly added that Catena’s North American business will benefit substantially from the addition of the Lineups.com business which was acquired at the beginning of May.
“Lineups, whose Q1 sales accounted for about 10% of Catena Media’s Q1 revenue, has an estimated EBITDA margin exceeding 70% and provides a valuable alternative channel through which to address the US sports betting audience and further build market share,” he said.
Sticking with the stateside theme, he added: “Each market that opens up strengthens us financially, and we were pleased in the US to commence casino operations in Michigan during the quarter alongside our existing casino activities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and West Virginia.”
On the outlook, Daly told investors: “By the end of the year I expect to see more fruits of our labor and that certain products we believe are underperforming will have turned the corner and be heading in the right direction. The second quarter of 2021 has begun well, with organic revenue growth in April of 15%, or 24% excluding Germany, compared to average monthly revenue in Q2 last year.
“Q2 was our strongest quarter in 2020 due to high online casino demand in the US. We still have a way to go to realize our full potential, but the outlook is bright and I see clear promise for a prolonged upward trajectory for Catena Media in the next five to 10 years and beyond.”
Further in the report, the company referred to exceptional year-on-year growth in the US, driven partly by market launches in Michigan and Virginia. Catena Media now operates as an affiliate in 11 US states, and preparations are advancing for possible openings in Arizona and Maryland later this year.
“The US business was further buoyed by a strong close to the NFL season culminating with the Super Bowl and by the March Madness college basketball tournament, held for the first time since 2019,” it said.