Struggling core business units and adjustments both contributed to Catena Media losing €10.5 million over the course of 2019.
Overall revenue for this period was down by 2.1%, compared to 2018, hitting €102.8 million (2018: €105 million).
Losses and decline
As per its end-of-year report, Catena’s search revenue went down from €89.9 million (2018) to €88.3 million. Meanwhile, paid revenue declined by 15% to €11.9 million.
Elsewhere, subscription revenue went down by 57.7% to €2.6 million.
Total operating expenses went up significantly last year. This totalled €108.5 million, which was 64.9% higher than in 2018. Personnel expenses steepened to 18.8% – €22 million altogether.
Earlier this week, the affiliate marketing giant warned that deprecation and amortisation would contribute to the overall picture. Spend in this specific category went up by 62%, to €14.1 million.
Refinancing and shifting priorities
Per Hellberg, CEO of Catena Media, spoke about the company’s annual financial results. He talked about the need to keep up in today’s online landscape, with his words being as follows.
“As the efforts we have put into our products now show a positive growth trend, we also saw challenges with some of our previously acquired assets not performing as planned.
“In our strategic review, operational efficiency programmes and evaluations of previously acquired products, we are writing down the value of certain assets acquired in the period 2016-2018, which simply can’t perform under today’s market conditions.
“Now, with only two earn-out commitment to be settled, and with a strong operating refinancing of the company; we will communicate further details as soon as we have information to give.”
Q4 figures also released
Much of Catena’s spending took place during the final three months of 2019. Revenue was down by 2.6% during this time period, reaching €26.6 million. Moreover, there were year-on-year declines across multiple areas – including search revenue, paid revenue and subscription revenue.
Operating expenses in Q4 2019 stood at €53.8 million. That was over double what had been spent during the same time period in 2018. An operating loss of €27.3 million came out of this in part. This was a stark contrast on the previous year, in which the company made a profit of €9.4 million.
Meanwhile, Catena Media reported a €32.2 million loss before tax – compared to a €13.1 million profit in Q4 2018. After tax, this loss was €31.1 million – down from a €12.4 million profit in the previous year.
Hellberg believes that the company is in a better place to enjoy a more prosperous 2020. His thoughts on this were as is written below.
“We will continue to execute on our strategy to focus on few brands, invest in new markets, and continue our focus on cost control.
“We are prepared for continued improvements in 2020 and beyond.”