XLMedia to offload Finnish-facing casino assets

10 June 2020

Affiliate marketing services provider XLMedia has set out a proposal to sell the majority of its Finnish-facing casino assets, along with certain other publishing sites.

XLMedia said the sale, which will be handled by Akur Capital, is in line with an ongoing strategy of refining its publishing portfolio and refocusing on regulated and high-potential markets. This focus, it explained, will ultimately deliver more sustainable and predictable growth for the business.

Should XLMedia complete the sale of the assets, any proceeds generated will be used to support the future acquisition and development of content-rich and engaging sites.

“The sale of Finnish-facing casino assets will reduce the reliance on unregulated markets and accelerate the delivery of our strategy, providing additional capital for the acquisition of attractive assets in regulated and high growth markets, such as the burgeoning US sports market,” XLMedia chief executive Stuart Simms said.

XLMedia set out a new three-part strategy in February, accelerating a number of planned initiatives in response to concerns over Google's changes to its search algorithm.

In January, XLMedia revealed the changes led to a “significant decrease in traffic” on certain sites, which it said in turn is likely to impact revenue. Google rolled out its new search algorithm update on 13 January.

The three primary strategic goals for XLMedia under this initiative are focused on the consolidation of publishing assets, investment in US sports and personal finance, and further investment in regulated markets.

XLMedia has committed to consolidating its range of publishing assets, focusing resources on a core set of premium sites in its chosen markets, with the idea of building stronger relationships with consumers through content-rich, engaging websites.

In terms of its US-focused goals, XLMedia said it has identified North America as a core target market and will now seek to further strengthen its personal finance presence and increase investment in the sports sector through partnerships and acquisitions.

Looking at other markets, XLMedia said it is seeking to generate an increasing proportion of revenue from more stable, regulated markets, both within current serviced verticals - such as gambling and personal finance – and also additional target segments.

As a result of this shift in focus, XLMedia last month concluded a strategic review that will see it “streamline” a number of roles and functions across the business, resulting in annual cost savings of more than $5m (£3.9m/€4.4m).

XLMedia last month also reported a 14.8% year-on-year revenue drop in 2019 to $79.7m, while an $81.4m impairment loss meant the group made an overall net loss for the year.

“XLMedia has set out a clear transformation strategy to deliver the next phase of growth,” Simms said. “We have already made significant progress with reshaping the organisation, reducing our cost base, strengthening the leadership team and building our core people skills and technological expertise.

“I look forward to updating our key stakeholders over the coming months.”