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Acast achieves first positive adjusted EBITDA in Q4.

“I am proud to state that our consistent work during the year has borne fruit and that we end the year with a positive adjusted EBITDA in the fourth quarter – for the first time in Acast’s history.” –Ross Adams, CEO, Acast

 

Acast has released  simultaneous reports for Q4 2023 and full year 2023. The headline news promoted by the company’s press release is that Q4 earned a positive adjusted EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). It is a self-congratulatory moment for one of the largest podcast and advertising networks in the world — “the global independent power source of podcasting” as the company frames it.

Today’s glow of attainment was presaged in the Q3 report, when Acast said it was on track for profitability. (RAIN coverage HERE.)

The official release itemizes all earnings in Krona (abbreviated SEK), but we received an American-friendly version in dollars. From that document we learn that net sales in Q4 amounted to $46.3M, a net sales growth of nine percent. EBITDA was $1.5M.

The full-year 2023 story spotlights bigger numbers: Net sales of $152.2M, coming to a net sales growth of 18%. The gross margin for 2023 was 32%.

As always with Acast’s financial disclosures, CEO Ross Adams contributes comments. He credits recent success to “product initiatives driving scalability.”

Adams notes that European business is “stable,” notwithstanding a recession in several countries. But it has been North America which has driven the company’s growth. He divulges how Acast handled Apple’s industry-shaking change to how podcast listens are counted in Apple Podcasts: “As a consequence of Apple’s update to iOS17, the number of counted listens are lowered near term across the industry. As a result, we have made a, for the quarter, non-cash flow-affecting revaluation of podcast contracts of USD -7.2 million. Excluding this revaluation, the gross margin in the fourth quarter amounted to 39 percent.”

There is optimism for 2024, and Ross Adams says Acast has “a robust balance sheet that increases our competitiveness even more,” and that “Acast’s position as the leading player in podcasting is stronger today than it was a year ago.


 

 

Brad Hill

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