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Better Collective shares have sunk after the business reported a 1% year-on-year decrease in revenue to €85.2m for Q4 2023.

The affiliate said recurring revenue of €47m represented growth of 15%, but organic revenue declined by 7% during the fourth quarter.

Europe and the Rest of World provided €58m of Q4 revenue, up 14%, as revenue from North America fell by 23% to €27m.

Q4 EBITDA before special items came in at €29.5m, down 16% year-on-year, corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 35%.

The EBITDA drop was mainly driven by the ongoing transition to a rev-share model in the US, as well as a tough comparative period due to the launch of online sports betting in Ohio.

The prior corresponding quarter was also boosted by the World Cup 2022. As a result, new depositing customers (NDCs) fell by 17% to 483,000 in Q4 2023.

The cost of special items during Q4 amounted to €1.9m. This was primarily related to M&A expenses of €10.2m, dual-listing costs of €1.1m and a €500k restructuring cost.

Those costs were softened by €9.9m of income resulting from Better Collective’s acquisition of FUTBIN, where an earn-out has been reversed due to certain performance-related criteria not being met.

Better Collective also wrapped up its second largest acquisition to date post-close of Q4, with the €176m purchase of American sports media giant Playmaker Capital.

Full-year 2023

The Q4 results saw full-year 2023 revenue reach €327m, up 21% annually.

EBITDA before special items hit €111m, representing an increase of 31% on an EBITDA margin of 34%.

The fourth quarter performance saw Better Collective exceed its full-year revenue target of between €315m and €325m, as EBITDA also came in at the high end of the range.

The affiliate has set separate financial targets for full-year 2024, including revenue of €420m at the top end of guidance and EBITDA of up to €135m.

The new targets factor in an 11-month impact from the Playmaker Capital acquisition, which officially closed on 6 February 2024.

Post-close trading

2024 trading did not get off to the strongest of starts. January revenue collapsed by 27% year-on-year to €27m, again following tough comparisons from the Ohio launch last year.

For context, last January was the strongest trading month ever for Better Collective.

Better Collective co-founder and CEO Jesper Søgaard said: “In 2023, a great team effort across the group secured a prosperous year marked by profitable growth, all while continuing our strategic investments to lay the foundation for the future.

“It brings me great satisfaction to witness the ongoing development of engaging sports content and the expansion of our audiences across our sports media brands, all while consistently providing value to our partners.

“2023 stands out as a year where we made significant progress towards our vision of becoming the leading digital sports media group,” he added.

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