Shares of Ladbible parent LBG fall after trading update

LBG Media CEO Solly Solomou

Shares of LBG Media plc, the Manchester-based parent of youth publisher Ladbible Group, fell as much as 10% after it published a trading update for the full year ending December 31, 2023.

Shares of LBG Media fell to around 82p and are down about 33% in 2023.

The Manchester firm went public in December 2021 at £1.75 a share.

“The board of LBG Media is pleased with the strategic and financial progress in FY23 as the group further deepened its market leadership position, now with over 440M followers,” said LBG Media in its trading update.

“Direct blue chip advertiser relationships have grown significantly.

“The board expects to report revenue growth from £62.8m last year to approximately £67m for FY23.

“We also expect adjusted EBITDA to have grown at least 8% from £15.7m last year to at least £17m in FY23 and with a second half performance of at least £14m, having grown that from £3m reported in the first half of FY23.

“Adjusting for a reduction in the year-on-year profit contribution from Australia, our underlying adjusted EBITDA would have grown by over 30% year-on-year.

“We have significantly accelerated our progress into the US this year with the acquisition of Betches Media in October 2023, for an initial consideration of $24m. 

“Both performance and integration are going to plan and its contribution will naturally be much more significant next year as we progress our plans into the US market, which is worth over $363bn.

“In Australia we have implemented a number of positive changes to make the operating model more efficient from January 2024.

“This is in response to a year-on-year reduction in Australia’s profitability of approximately £3m, with our improvements not only reversing the reduction felt this year but also providing a more efficient model from which to grow, and a potential partnership template to consider for other regions in the future.

“Our improvements in Australia combine the centralisation of social and web operations into our UK centre of excellence at a more efficient cost base for the indirect revenues and for direct revenues, leveraging a new multi-year strategic partnership model recently announced with the largest online media publisher in the country.

“Our UK and Ireland businesses have continued to perform well this year highlighting the strength of our differentiated offering, our unrivalled audience growth and high levels of engagement against our competitors as well as the quality of the talent within the business.

“This is further evidenced by our high conversion rates and significant roster of new and growing clients working with us.”