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The Perform Group, a digital sports media company in the UK, posted a shocker of an annual report this week, reporting a 75 percent year-on-year decline in pre-tax profits, which it blamed on rising costs and a tough business year.

For the year ended December 31 the company reported revenues up by 37 percent to GBP 208 million, but pre-tax profit plummeting to GBP 4.1 million (FY 2012: GBP 16.3 million).

EBITDA was impacted, falling 3 percent to GBP 36.4 million, prompting CEO Oliver Slipper to observe:

“Notwithstanding strong growth in revenues our financial performance in 2013 was disappointing. We made good progress on executing against our strategy notably with the acquisition of Opta, which significantly enhances our existing sports data offering, and the launch of Perform Sporting News, a top seven US digital sports media property.

“However, the performance in the second half, notably in Display Advertising and Sponsorship in Q4, was significantly below our expectations.

“The Group’s rapid expansion has also led to a significant increase in our cost base. We are now taking the opportunity to address this and have already put in place a series of plans and initiatives.”

On the brighter side, Perform’s Watch&Bet service for bookmakers increased its number of licensees by six to 46, and the company achieved a 12 percent increase in events streamed – an additional 16,543 were delivered through Watch&Bet.

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