Shares of Ladbible parent firm LBG Media plc fell about 23% on Wednesday after it published results for the half year ended June 30, 2022.
Manchester-based LBG Media said first half revenue was £24.8 million, up 8% year-on-year compared with a strong prior year, when revenue grew 133%.
LBG Media’s first-half adjusted EBITDA fell 78% to £1.6 million and it booked a statutory loss before tax of £1.9 million compared to a £5.6 million profit at the same stage of the prior year.
The company said this was “primarily due to investment into people in H2 2021 to increase content and views across our brands and drive growth into the future, along with increased spend on physical marketing events that did not go ahead in the prior year due to Covid-19 restrictions.”
LBG Media is a digital youth publisher of Ladbible and other news brands including Sportbible and Tyla.
The company said H1 “direct revenue” increased 11% to £10.6 million driven by strong growth in the group’s international operations, most notably its Australia business.
“Indirect revenue” grew 4% to £13.6 million. “The significant growth in the volume of views continued in HY22, up 38% vs the prior year period, reflecting growth in market share,” said LBG Media. “As previously stated, this has been offset by a reduced revenue per view across the platforms as a result of the current economic environment.”
LBG Media said global audience grew by 62 million people — including the Go Animals acquisition — to over 315 million, with 35.8 billion content views in the period, up 38% on the prior year.
The group continued to make progress with plans to launch operations in the US and has begun recruitment in New York, with activity expected to commence in early 2023.
LBG Media CEO Solly Solomou said: “The group has seen solid performance in the first half of the year in what is a challenging macro environment.
“The growth we have achieved in our audience and views is a testament to the hard work of our teams and our ability to adapt creatively to changing market conditions.
“Our partner brands and platforms recognise our differentiated offering and significant engagement with hard to reach audiences and we remain leaders in our field.
“We continue to focus on our growth strategy, excited by the potential of the US market, and assess M&A opportunities that are complementary to our existing offering.
“We remain confident in the long-term prospects for the business and significant growth potential for the future.”