A renewed – and acquisition-powered – focus on US sports betting helped drive XLMedia’s revenue up 39.2% to $44.5m, while earnings grew beyond $10m.
Since the prior year’s results, XLMedia changed the structure of the divisions within the business, as part of a wider restructuring effort.
Rather than a single sports betting vertical, the business split revenue related to betting into US sports and European sports. It was the US sports division that generated the vast majority of XLMedia’s revenue, with $30.2m, which was more than five times the total recorded in H1 of the previous year.
Much of this came from recent acquisitions such as Sports Betting Dime and Saturday Football Inc.
“The opening of new regulated markets and the signing of new media partnership agreements has allowed the US Sports business to capitalise on the full US sports calendar, in particular the Super Bowl, and deliver strong growth in H1 2022,” the XL board said.
The European Sports division, meanwhile, brought in $3.8m, which the board described as “solid”.
In casino and gaming – an area that the business worked to restructure following regulatory challenges – revenue was $8.4m. While this was down 32.8%, the business said the decline was “in line with expectations”.
“The business is now showing signs of stabilising, having suffered from a year-on-year decline in tail revenue,” the XLMedia board said. “The business has reduced its cost base to reflect this reduction in the scale of its activities and continues to be a cash generator for the group.”
Revenue from the personal finance division of XLMedia, meanwhile, was down from $6.6m in H1 of 2021 to just $800,000 this year. This, the board said, was because the business was working on a complete overhaul of the segment.
“The decline results from the need to replace ageing technology, re-evaluate marketing tactics and align with best practice,” the business said. “The management and production teams are now based within the group’s US division, and the personal finance vertical is focused on completing the redesign and replatforming of its primary websites, with the objective of improving site performance and enhancing the consumer experience and stabilising revenues.”
Meanwhile, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) came to $10.5m, which was up by 59.1% from H1 of 2022.
Looking ahead, XLMedia said that trading for the year as a whole was “in line with expectations”.
At the end of the quarter, David King took over as XLMedia’s new chief executive, replacing Stuart Simms.
King had previously served as chief executive of regional news group JPIMedia between November 2018 and January 2021 and was also chief executive of Time Out Group for four years.