RNS Number : 5111B

CentralNic Group PLC

14 February 2022

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU ) 596/2014 as it forms part of UK domestic law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 ("MAR"), and is disclosed in accordance with the Company's obligations under Article 17 of MAR.

14 February 2022

CentralNic Group plc

("CentralNic" or the "Company" or the "Group")

Current Trading Update

Acquisition Announcement

Retail Investor Presentations

CentralNic Group plc (AIM: CNIC), the global internet platform company that derives recurring revenue from the sales of online presence and marketing services, is pleased to announce an update on the positive trading momentum experienced in the early part of 2022 alongside details of the completion of two strategic acquisitions. Additionally, details of three publicly accessible investor presentations are set out below as part of CentralNic's ongoing commitment to engagement with retail investors.

Current Trading Update

The Company is pleased to announce that the strong growth experienced during 2021 has continued into 2022. The year on year revenue growth experienced during Q1 to date, which has been driven largely by the performance of the Online Marketing segment, is materially ahead of the revenue growth rates implied by analyst consensus expectations for the full year to 31 December 2022. Given the early stage of the current financial year the Directors have yet to fully ascertain the expected impact on full year performance, which should however be at least at or above the high end of market expectations*. Further commentary on the outlook for 2022 will be included within the Company's 2021 results announcement, scheduled for 28 February 2022 .

Strategic Acquisitions

CentralNic has entered into agreements to acquire Fireball Search GmbH ("Fireball") as well as the .ruhr Top-Level Domain (TLD) (".ruhr") for a total aggregate consideration of EUR 0.6m in cash. The acquisitions are expected to complete immediately and on or around 31 May 2022 respectively and will be financed from available cash resources.

Founded in 1996, Fireball was once the leading search engine in Germany, and the name retains high consumer awareness, despite being acquired by and merged into Lycos Europe in the early 2000s. In 2016, Fireball was re-established as an independent company, with a completely overhauled version of the service, including a strong focus on privacy, a core value of CentralNic. Search results are powered by Bing. Fireball opens up new traffic sources for CentralNic to monetise through its proprietary Online Marketing tools, and it adds alternative monetisation channels for CentralNic to generate revenues from internet traffic.

.ruhr is the domain address for the urban agglomeration centred around the river Ruhr in Germany, consisting of c.50 cities, including Dortmund and Essen, with roughly 5 million inhabitants. There are currently c.10k domain names registered using the .ruhr Top-Level Domain. .ruhr will be migrated from its existing service providers and will be fully managed by CentralNic's internal resources, joining another German regional TLD, .saarland.

Combined historical revenue and EBITDA for both acquisitions are c.EUR 0.2m and c.EUR 0.1m respectively. The acquisitions are expected to be immediately earnings accretive.

Ben Crawford, CEO of CentralNic, said "We are encouraged by the organic growth that CentralNic is continuing to deliver so far in 2022, and, in particular, the strong performance of our online marketing division. Our privacy-safe solutions are gaining traction, while competing solutions that collect private user data, and so require GDPR or IDFA consent, lose market share. Whilst it is still very early in our financial year, we are extremely encouraged by the continuation of the growth that we saw in 2021 and look forward to giving a further update on trading at the time of our 2021 results release on 28 February 2022."

"Regarding our most recent acquisitions, owning and operating Top-Level Domain ("TLD") registries has proven to be a very successful vertical integration strategy for our company, which already has all the resources required, including being the market leader in the global distribution of new TLDs. At the same time, the acquisition of Fireball increases the portfolio of privacy-focused solutions for our rapidly expanding Online Marketing customer base."

"Finally we are committed to engage with our increasing retail following ever more frequently, hopefully also in person when the global health situation permits."

Retail Investor Presentations

CentralNic Group plc is pleased to further announce that the Company will be attending the following retail investor presentation events in the coming four weeks:

- Investor Meet Company on Monday, 28 February 2022, at 4.30pm


- Shares Investor Webinar on 1 March 2022 from 6pm to 8pm


- Proactive One2One Virtual Forum on 10 March 2022 from 6pm to 8pm


* analyst expectations of revenue and adjusted EBITDA for the financial year ending 31 Dec 2022 currently range from USD 410.0m to USD 468.2m and USD 48.0m to USD 51.0m respectively.

The person responsible for this announcement is Ben Crawford, CEO.

For further information:

 CentralNic Group Plc 
  Ben Crawford, Chief Executive 
  Don Baladasan, Group Managing 
  Michael Riedl, Chief Financial 
  Officer                                 +44 (0) 203 388 0600 
 Zeus Capital Limited (NOMAD 
  and Joint Broker) 
  Nick Cowles / Jamie Peel (Corporate 
  Rupert Woolfenden (Institutional       +44 (0) 161 831 1512 
  Sales)                                  +44 (0) 203 829 5000 
 Stifel (Joint Broker) 
  Fred Walsh / Alex Price / Richard 
  Short                                    +44 (0) 20 7710 7600 
 SEC Newgate (for Media) 
  Bob Huxford / Isabelle Smurfit/          +44 (0) 203 757 6880 
  Max Richardson                           centralnic@secnewgate.co.uk 

About CentralNic Group plc

CentralNic (AIM: CNIC) is a London-based AIM-listed company which drives the growth of the global digital economy by providing businesses around the world with tools to build their online presence and to win customers and earn revenues online. The Company complements its organic growth with target acquisitions of cash-generative businesses in its industry with annuity revenue streams and exposure to growth markets and migrating them onto the CentralNic software and operating platforms. CentralNic operates globally with customers in almost every country in the world. It earns recurring revenues from the worldwide sales of online presence and online marketing services on a subscription or pay per use basis. For more information please visit: www.centralnicgroup.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 14, 2022 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT)

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