XLM expects 2021 North American success to be offset by European challenges

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XLMedia (XLM) has predicted generally positive results in its full-year trading update, covering the 12 months ending December 31, although acknowledging difficulties in European Casino which have impacted its stateside performance. 

Updating investors this morning, XLM detailed that it expects full-year results ‘in line with expectations’ with revenues of $66.6m (2020: $54.8m) sitting alongside adjusted EBITDA of around $17.2m (2020: $12.2m).

In particular, the group anticipates a strong performance in sports, predicting revenue of $25.2m (2020: $11.3m) for this vertical, especially in North America where it has established a presence in 15 US states 

XLM anticipates sports revenue of approximately $25.2m (2020: $11.3m), assisted by two US sports acquisitions and several publishing partnerships, and secured two US sports acquisitions and several publishing partnerships.

The group stated: “Continued progress has been made rationalizing and reorganizing the Company to further capitalize on the North American market opportunity and to materially reduce risk from legacy areas of the business. This initiative is well advanced, with additional costs to be incurred until mid-2022 as expected.”

However, despite lauding an ‘increasing market opportunity’ in North America due to the rollout of legalized sports betting across the US and Canada, XLM has acknowledged that European hurdles and a restructuring cost will offset its stateside achievements. 

Although bolstering its European sports operations via an acquisition of BlueClawMedia, the group has encountered challenges in the European Casino space, citing ‘negative regulatory change’ in Finland and anticipating revenue declines, with total turnover expected at $23.2m (2020: $31.7m). 

Such predictions from XLM are not entirely unexpected, as the company warned in its H1 trading update last year that group-wide reorganization costs could impact full-year trading, adding that the aforementioned extensive M&A activity would further burden expenses.

Lastly, the group’s Personal Finance division has been in ‘a state of transition’ – a process which XLM believes will also negatively impact its full-year trading – with the unit’s revenues predicted to reach $8.8m (2020: $8.4m). 

The company’s full-year trading predictions come as the firm began 2022 by initiating a search for a new Chair, after incumbent Christopher Bell vacated the position to join ‘Nueva Codere‘, the business identity of Grupo Codere SA.