26th May 2023 10:00
(Alliance News) - XLMedia PLC shares fell on Friday, after it said revenue in the first half will be lower due to strong comparative and lower customer spending.
Shares in the Henley-on-Thames-based digital publisher were down 16% to 9.50 pence each in London on Friday morning.
In a statement at the company's annual general meeting, Chief Executive Officer David King said that in the US, it saw a "strong" start to the first quarter with the launch of online sports betting in Ohio.
However, it said revenue in the first half will be "inevitably" be lower than the prior comparator period, which benefited from the launch of online sports betting in New York.
It added that the launch of online sports betting in Massachusetts in mid-March, after the NFL season ended, it did not see the spike in revenues normally seen on a state launch.
XLMedia also said the level of acquisition spend by operators in the first half is not comparable to 2022. "This reflects our previous acknowledgement that growth in the US market will not be linear, with significant spikes generated by periodic state launches, however we continue to expect to be in line with our expectations for the full year," it said.
Looking ahead, XLMedia said it expects the "current softness" to continue across the early summer, with a return to significant investment in customer acquisition, and the launch of new products commencing in the run-up to the new NFL season bolstering the second half of 2023.
"Looking longer term, we can expect to see many more US states legalise online sports betting and online casino. 23 states are yet to legalise online sports betting, including California, Georgia and Texas, three states are legal but not yet operational, including Florida, and 43 states are yet to legalise online casino," said CEO King.
"Across European Sport and European Gaming, performance is tracking in line with management expectations benefiting from a strong Cheltenham and Aintree festival, and we expect this encouraging performance to continue."
XLMedia confirms it will issue a trading update on performance in the first six months of the year in late-July.
By Sophie Rose, Alliance News reporter
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