Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom Centralnic Group PLC https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom Centralnic Group PLC RSS feed en Tue, 23 Jul 2019 08:27:28 +0100 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Genera CMS action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[Media files - CentralNic Group 'moving into the next league' after debut €50mln bond issue ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/14155/centralnic-group--moving-into-the-next-league--after-debut-50mln-bond-issue-14155.html Mon, 22 Jul 2019 13:05:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/14155/centralnic-group--moving-into-the-next-league--after-debut-50mln-bond-issue-14155.html <![CDATA[News - CentralNic to buy domain reselling platform Hexonet for €10mln ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/223123/centralnic-to-buy-domain-reselling-platform-hexonet-for-10mln-223123.html CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) has agreed to acquire international domain reseller Hexonet in a deal worth up to €10mln.

The AIM-listed firm, which provides registry services for top-level internet domains (TLDs), said the acquisition, its fourth in the last 12 months, would increase the number of domains under management by around 28% and was expected to be “immediately earnings accretive”.

READ: CentralNic raises €50mln through maiden bond issue and upgrades expectations for year

The group said the acquisition consideration will consist of €7mln paid at completion, expected in July, and a deferred payment of up to €3mln on the first anniversary of the purchase, which will be payable either in cash or in CentralNic shares.

Hexonet is a privately-owned group of companies with operations in both Canada and Germany which sells domain name subscriptions directly and through a network of over 1,000 resellers in 110 countries.

CentralNic said Hexonet’s Canadian operations would provide it with an enlarged base to cover the Americas and, in particular, the “important” Pacific time zone markets.

Ben Crawford, CentralNic’s chief executive, said the acquisition would boost not only the company’s recurring revenues and profits but also its market share and competitiveness.

He added that the purchase made the company “the clear global leader, combining two of the most technically advanced global reseller platforms in the domain industry".

In early trading on Monday, CentralNic shares were steady at 62.5p.

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Mon, 01 Jul 2019 09:38:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/223123/centralnic-to-buy-domain-reselling-platform-hexonet-for-10mln-223123.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic raises €50mln through maiden bond issue and upgrades expectations for year ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/222654/centralnic--raises-50mln-through-maiden-bond-issue-and-upgrades-expectations-for-year-222654.html CentralNic PLC (LON:CNIC) has raised €50mln through its debut senior secured bond issue.

The internet domain name registry added it also expects to beat market forecasts for 2019 after strong trading in the first four months of the year.

Ben Crawford, chief executive, said he was delighted with the response to the bond issue, which was supported by a wide range of debt investors globally.

The issue was oversubscribed with the notes paying a coupon of Euribor plus 7% and maturing in four years.

Funds from the bonds will help replace existing debt facilities and pay for the acquisition of TPP worldwide, an Australia-based domain name resale platform.

“This establishes CentralNic as a bond issuer and, in combination with our strong support among equity market investors, offers us considerable financial flexibility, over the medium term, to pursue our strategic growth objectives,” said Crawford.

CentralNic added that in the four months to April revenues were around US$33.8mln compared to US$9mln a year earlier.

Underlying earnings [EBITDA] jumped to US$$5.4m (US$$0.4mln) while net debt stood at US$7.4mln.

"The pleasing organic growth of our existing recurring business continues to provide a solid basis to include this increased leverage into our financial structure." 

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 08:01:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/222654/centralnic--raises-50mln-through-maiden-bond-issue-and-upgrades-expectations-for-year-222654.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic to meet with fixed income investors to secure funding for TPP acquisition ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/220842/centralnic-to-meet-with-fixed-income-investors-to-secure-funding-for-tpp-acquisition-220842.html CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) is to hold a series of fixed income investor meetings from the start of next week to try and secure funds for its acquisition of Australasian domain name and hosting reseller TPP Wholesale.

The AIM-listed firm, which provides registry services for top-level domain names (TLDs), said that subject to market conditions, a €50mln (£44mln) 4-year senior secured non-convertible bond issue may follow the meetings.

READ: CentralNic bounces as it snaps up Australasian domain name seller TPP Wholesale for A$24mln

CentralNic said any debt raised would be used to help repay any existing interest-bearing liabilities and enable the completion of the TPP acquisition.

TPP is currently Australasia’s leading domain name and hosting reseller platform business with around 14,000 reseller customers and 840,000 domains under management including 19% of all ‘.com.au’ registrations.

CentralNic said on Monday that subject to the outcome of the financing discussions it would acquire TPP for A$24mln (£13.1mln).

In early trading on Thursday, CentralNic shares were steady at 66.5p.

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Thu, 23 May 2019 08:58:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/220842/centralnic-to-meet-with-fixed-income-investors-to-secure-funding-for-tpp-acquisition-220842.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic bounces as it snaps up Australasian domain name seller TPP Wholesale for A$24mln ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/220570/centralnic-bounces-as-it-snaps-up-australasian-domain-name-seller-tpp-wholesale-for-a24mln-220570.html CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) shares bounced higher on Monday after it agreed to acquire Australasian domain name and hosting reseller TPP Wholesale in a A$24mln (£13.1mln) deal.

The AIM-listed firm, which provides registry services for top-level domain names (TLDs), said TPP would be an extension of its largest business unit into the Australian and New Zealand territories and was expected to be “immediately earnings enhancing”.

READ: CentralNic ticks up as it inks partnership with ‘.blog’ domain

CentralNic added that there was also significant scope for cost synergies following the integration of the acquisition.

TPP is currently Australasia’s leading domain name and hosting reseller platform business with around 14,000 reseller customers and 840,000 domains under management including 19% of all ‘.com.au’ registrations.

Ben Crawford, CentralNic’s chief executive, added that the timing of the deal was “precipitous” as it allowed the company to participate in the proposed launch of a new ‘.au’ domain extension.

“We are delighted to become the leading supplier to domain name and hosting resellers in Australasia through this highly earnings accretive acquisition.”

In early trading, CentralNic shares were 4.4% higher at 59.5p.

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Mon, 20 May 2019 07:59:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/220570/centralnic-bounces-as-it-snaps-up-australasian-domain-name-seller-tpp-wholesale-for-a24mln-220570.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic ticks up as it inks partnership with ‘.blog’ domain ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/220515/centralnic-ticks-up-as-it-inks-partnership-with-blog-domain-220515.html CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) shares ticked up on Friday after it entered into a partnership with ‘.blog’ to provide registry services for the domain.

In a statement, ‘.blog’ said it looked forward to working with CentralNic, which controls around 30% of the top-level domain (TLD) market and manages 8mln domains, to “further advance” the domain through the company’s tools and services.

WATCH: CentralNic looking to again double in size in 2019 after transformational year

“We strongly believe that this new partnership will enhance the .blog experience for our registrar, reseller partners, and registrants”, ‘.blog’ said.

The change is currently awaiting approval from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which coordinates and maintains internet name databases, but the migration is expected to complete in late August or early September this year.

In lunchtime trading, CentralNic shares were up 1.7% at 57.5p.

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Fri, 17 May 2019 12:07:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/220515/centralnic-ticks-up-as-it-inks-partnership-with-blog-domain-220515.html
<![CDATA[Media files - CentralNic looking to again double in size in 2019 after transformational year ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/13335/centralnic-looking-to-again-double-in-size-in-2019-after-transformational-year-13335.html Tue, 14 May 2019 13:02:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/13335/centralnic-looking-to-again-double-in-size-in-2019-after-transformational-year-13335.html <![CDATA[News - CentralNic confident of meeting full-year expectations ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/220116/centralnic-confident-of-meeting-full-year-expectations-220116.html Internet domain name seller CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) saw revenue double in 2018.

In the current year, results to date combined with a strong level of recurring revenues have underpinned the board's confidence in meeting market expectations.

WATCH: CentralNic looking to again double in size in 2019 after transformational year

Revenue rose to £42.7mln in 2018 from £21.4mln (excluding premium domain sales, as selling premium domains is no longer a core activity of the group) in 2017.

Adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) grew to £7.0mln from £4.2mln (again, excluding premium domain sales).

Administrative expenses, which includes acquisition-related costs, rose to £22.1mln from £12.3mln, leading to a loss before tax of £3.8mln versus a profit in 2017 of £1.4mln.

$CNIC CentralNic shares up more than 9%. Board seem very bullish. https://t.co/jlR1FnriLQ via @proactive_uk @Centralnic #CNIC #brighterir #AndrewScottTV #CapitalNetwork1

— John Harrington (@JournoJohnH) May 13, 2019

The group ended the year with a cash balance of £18.0mln, up from £10.9mln a year earlier, after an oversubscribed £24mln share issue. Net debt, including pre-paid costs, narrowed to £1.7mln from £6.5mln at the end of 2017.

Net cash flow from operating activities after tax was higher than the previous year at £6.7mln (2017: £3.8mln).

READ CentralNic acquires Romania and Brazil-focused domain host provider GlobeHosting READ CentralNic joins the domain name big boys with Keydrive acquisition

"Results to date in the new financial year, together with the group's high percentage of recurring revenues, provide the board with every confidence of meeting market expectations for 2019,” said Mike Turner, the chairman of CentralNic.

“Furthermore, the continued availability of attractive acquisition targets, coupled with the group's proven ability to source, complete, and integrate complex acquisitions around the world, provides an excellent opportunity to build a sizeable global business to rival the largest industry players,” he continued.

$CNIC #CentralNic Group CentralNic Group plc (CNIC LN): CentralNic has delivered a solid set of FY18 results this morning that are 3.8% ahead of our forecasts and up 66% YoY at the adj. EBITDA level (excluding the one off domain name sales business… https://t.co/HNK91qFd3A pic.twitter.com/HQbpd8yYxd

— ResearchPool (@ResearchPool) May 13, 2019 ]]>
Mon, 13 May 2019 08:31:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/220116/centralnic-confident-of-meeting-full-year-expectations-220116.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic to receive 680,000 domain names ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/217498/centralnic-to-receive-680000-domain-names-217498.html CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) said it will receive around 680,000 domain names as part of a bulk transfer from a former registrar.

The company, which provides internet domain registry services, said the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit responsible for maintaining domain name databases, had selected the firm to receive 679,840 domain names from a registrar that was no longer accredited.

READ: CentralNic reports “solid” 2018 performance as KeyDrive integration continues

CentralNic said the new domains would be transferred to three of its subsidiaries and provide revenues when they are renewed by the end users.

The group added that the transfer would be at no cost with any additional servicing expenditure expected to be “minimal”.

“This was a competitive process and our selection is a huge endorsement of the quality of our scalable platform, our exemplary track record and excellent reputation in the industry. We hope to be able to announce further successes of this kind in future", said Ben Crawford, chief executive of CentralNic.

In early trading Friday, CentralNic shares were down 2.2% at 45p.

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Fri, 29 Mar 2019 07:56:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/217498/centralnic-to-receive-680000-domain-names-217498.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic “well positioned” for next stage of development ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/214717/centralnic-well-positioned-for-next-stage-of-development-214717.html CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) is a provider of registry services for internet domains, a string of characters (e.g. ‘.com’, ‘.net’, or ‘.gov’) used to identify administrative authority or control of different websites online.

CentralNic is headquartered in London but also has offices in New York, Dubai and Los Angeles with account executives in Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and Melbourne.

What it owns

CentralNic operates its own proprietary registry engine that uses in-house IT systems to distribute its portfolio of domains across a network of 1,500 registrars such as domain retailer GoDaddy.

The firm also owns domain name technology firm KeyDrive, which it acquired last year in a reverse takeover for an initial sum of US£35.8mln.

KeyDrive develops and operates software platforms used for selling subscription-based tools for businesses to operate online, including domain names, hosting, email, domain portfolio management and online advertising services.

Inflexion points

• In May's final results, the group reported a doubling in core revenue to £42.7mln from £21.4mln, excluding premium domain sales, as selling premium domains is no longer a core activity of the group.

• Adjusted underlying earnings grew to £7mln from £4.2mln, though acquisition-related costs drove admin expenses much higher to result in a loss before tax of £3.8mln versus a profit of £1.4mln the previous time. 

• Acquistions have been flowing, with July 2019 seeing the addition of Hexonet, a seller of domain name subscriptions across in 110 countries, for up to €10mln; following May's purchase of Australia and New Zealand focused domain name resale platform TPP Worldwide for AU$24mln and September's purchase of Romania and Brazil-focused registrar GlobeHosting for €2.56mln.

• In May 2019 CentralNic raised €50mln through its debut senior secured bond issue, with the funds to help replace existing debt facilities and pay for the acquisition of TPP.

• Chief executive Ben Crawford said the acquisition of KeyDrive had led to a “significant improvement” in the quality of company earnings.

Blue Sky

Going forward, Crawford said that the company was “well positioned for the next stage of developing a global company that drives the growth of the digital economy, giving shareholders exposure to the fastest-growing customers, products and markets in our sector, worldwide”.

Crawford said CentralNic was looking to again double in size in 2019.

"Results to date in the new financial year, together with the group's high percentage of recurring revenues, provide the board with every confidence of meeting market expectations for 2019,” saidchairman Mike Turner at the time of results.

“Furthermore, the continued availability of attractive acquisition targets, coupled with the group's proven ability to source, complete, and integrate complex acquisitions around the world, provides an excellent opportunity to build a sizeable global business to rival the largest industry players.”

 

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Fri, 15 Feb 2019 07:00:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/214717/centralnic-well-positioned-for-next-stage-of-development-214717.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic reports “solid” 2018 performance as KeyDrive integration continues ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/213878/centralnic-reports-solid-2018-performance-as-keydrive-integration-continues-213878.html CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) said it had delivered “strong” trading in 2018 as it issued an update on the integration of technology group KeyDrive.

The internet domain services provider said trading for the year ended 31 December had been in line with market expectations with revenues expected to be around £42.5mln compared to £24.3mln the year before, while adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) were up to £6.7mln from £6.6mln.

READ: CentralNic acquires Romania and Brazil-focused domain host provider GlobeHosting

Net debt was also expected to be lower than expected, falling to £2.4mln from £7.2mln in 2017 on the back of strong cash conversion in the second half of the year.

The company added that its full year results would be released in the week of 13 May 2019.

For KeyDrive, which CentralNic acquired in July 2018 in a reverse takeover, the company said it had progressed the migration of its largest retail and reseller businesses onto the KeyDrive platform as well migrating most of KeyDrive’s registry clients onto its own software platform.

As a result of the migration, CentralNic said it expected £1mln in cost synergies during the 2019 financial year, in line with initial estimates.

READ: CentralNic closes transformational acquisition of KeyDrive

The firm also said that Michael Riedl, the former chief financial officer of KeyDrive, would be appointed as CFO with immediate effect to replace Don Baladasan, who will become group managing director.

Baladasan in his new role would be responsible for managing the ongoing integration of the two companies, as well as reviewing current business practices.

Ben Crawford, chief executive of CentralNic, said 2018 had seen a “significant improvement” in the firm’s quality of earnings, and that the KeyDrive acquisition would move it to a business model where over 90% of revenues came from the sale of subscription products.

“We are well positioned for the next stage of developing a global company that drives the growth of the digital economy, giving shareholders exposure to the fastest-growing customers, products and markets in our sector, worldwide."

In early trading Monday, CentralNic shares were steady at 50.5p.

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Mon, 04 Feb 2019 08:09:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/213878/centralnic-reports-solid-2018-performance-as-keydrive-integration-continues-213878.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic earnings double in first half as it eyes further acquisitions following KeyDrive ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/205734/centralnic-earnings-double-in-first-half-as-it-eyes-further-acquisitions-following-keydrive-205734.html CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) saw its adjusted earnings nearly double in the first half of the year, with the company saying it was eyeing further acquisitions going forward.

The web domain services group reported adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) for the period of £2.1mln, up 95% on the same period a year ago, while revenues climbed 30.7% to £3.9mln.

READ: CentralNic acquires Romania and Brazil-focused domain host provider GlobeHosting

In its outlook, CentralNic said future acquisitions would align well with one of its four industry channels of corporate, registry, and reseller & retail, with the technology platform “very strong” following its post-period end acquisition of KeyDrive in July.

The firm added that it also had access to funding following a £24mln equity raise in August to fund the KeyDrive acquisition.

Looking ahead, the firm said trading would be in line with expectations for the year with an initial dividend to be paid in the 2019 financial year.

Mike Turner, chairman of CentralNic, said "2018 will be backend loaded following the KeyDrive acquisition occurring in August, second-half results will show a heavier weighting than those of the first-half. The Board is confident that the Company is on track to meet market expectations for the full year to 31 December 2018."

WATCH: CentralNic Group PLC set to double in size with KeyDrive acquisition

CentralNic entered an agreement to acquire KeyDrive, a firm that develops and operates software platforms used for selling subscription-based tools for businesses to operate online, in July for US$35.8mln, representing an enterprise value of US$44.5mln, plus a performance-based earn-out of up to US$10.5mln.

Earlier in September, the group boosted its acquisition portfolio further with the business assets of GlobeHosting Inc, a Romania and Brazil-focused registrar and domain hosting provider based in Delaware.

READ: CentralNic acquires Romania and Brazil-focused domain host provider GlobeHosting

At the time, CentralNic said the €2.56mln transaction would “fit comfortably” into its retail and reseller divisions, adding that significant adjustments in Romania’s ‘.RO’ country code would benefit GlobeHosting as internet penetration in the country increased.

Shares were steady in early morning trading Wednesday at around 52p.

CentralNic carries a market cap of around £90mln.

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Wed, 26 Sep 2018 08:49:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/205734/centralnic-earnings-double-in-first-half-as-it-eyes-further-acquisitions-following-keydrive-205734.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic acquires Romania and Brazil-focused domain host provider GlobeHosting ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/204307/centralnic-acquires-romania-and-brazil-focused-domain-host-provider-globehosting-204307.html CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) has acquired the business assets of GlobeHosting Inc, a Romania and Brazil-focused registrar and domain hosting provider based in Delaware.

The AIM-listed web domain services firm said the €2.56mln transaction, to be paid through an initial payment of €1.5mln with €608,000 and €450,000 to be paid on the first and second anniversaries of completion respectively.

READ: CentralNic closes transformational acquisition of KeyDrive

CentralNic said the purchase would “fit comfortably” into its retail and reseller divisions, adding that significant adjustments in Romania’s ‘.RO’ country code would benefit GlobeHosting as internet penetration in the country increased.

The purchase is CentralNic’s third in nine months and follows its acquisition of subscription-based online business services provider KeyDrive in July.

Ben Crawford, chief executive of CentralNic, said the purchase would plug “very easily” into the company’s business operations and would enhance the quality of its earnings.

He added that the purchase added to the firm’s access to the Romanian and Brazilian markets, which “exhibit attractive characteristics for sustained growth”, as well as taking advantage of upselling capabilities and economies of scale the CentralNic would bring to GlobeHosting.

In early morning trading Thursday, CentralNic shares were steady around 50p.

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Thu, 06 Sep 2018 07:59:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/204307/centralnic-acquires-romania-and-brazil-focused-domain-host-provider-globehosting-204307.html
<![CDATA[News - Centralnic joins the domain name big boys with Keydrive acquisition ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/200948/centralnic-joins-the-domain-name-big-boys-with-keydrive-acquisition-200948.html CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) is a fast-growing wholesale, retail and enterprise supplier of domain names and associated services, that has global ambitions.

For the uninitiated, in the internet world, the top-level domain (TLD) is the label given to the very last section of a web address, located after the last dot – so suffixes such as .com, .org and .gov.

WATCH: CENTRALNIC GROUP PLC SET TO DOUBLE IN SIZE WITH KEYDRIVE ACQUISITION

Back in 2011, a body called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) ended the restrictions on naming TLDs, ushering a new era for many companies such as CentralNic that had prepared properly for this revolution.

Crucial to this has been its relationship with XYZ.COM, which owns the .xyz TLD, one of the most popular in the world.

In September, the company renegotiated and renewed its exclusive wholesaler contract with XYZ.COM.

CentralNic will receive a fixed fee based on the volume of .xyz registrations and subscriptions managed.

Acquisitions have also pulled their weight

CentralNic’s longer-term vision is to “join the ranks of world leaders in its industry, which include a number of multi-billion-dollar companies”.

Its growth strategy will focus on developing and scaling up its software platforms, while concentrating on growth areas, including China.

Hence the most recent and largest acquisition to date – Keydrive for US$35.8mln plus an earn-out of up to US$10.5mln.

KeyDrive develops and operates software platforms to operate domain names, hosting, email, domain portfolio management and online advertising services.

Revenues in 2017 were US$58.3mln and adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) US$5.9mln.

“KeyDrive's values and reputation within the industry match CentralNic's. The acquisition makes strong strategic sense to CentralNic and is a leap forward towards becoming a global leader,” said Ben Crawford, chief executive of CentralNic.”

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Tue, 17 Jul 2018 10:19:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/200948/centralnic-joins-the-domain-name-big-boys-with-keydrive-acquisition-200948.html
<![CDATA[Media files - CentralNic Group PLC set to double in size with KeyDrive acquisition ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/9857/centralnic-group-plc-set-to-double-in-size-with-keydrive-acquisition-9857.html Mon, 16 Jul 2018 10:20:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/9857/centralnic-group-plc-set-to-double-in-size-with-keydrive-acquisition-9857.html <![CDATA[News - CentralNic closes transformational acquisition of KeyDrive ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/200828/centralnic-closes-transformational-acquisition-of-keydrive-200828.html CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire the entire share capital of KeyDrive.

The initial consideration is US$35.8mln, representing an enterprise value of US$44.5mln, plus a performance-based earn-out of up to US$10.5mln.

READ: CentralNic Group PLC has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire the entire share capital of KeyDrive

KeyDrive is a global technology business that operates in the internet domain name services industry. KeyDrive develops and operates software platforms used for selling subscription-based tools for businesses to operate online, including domain names, hosting, email, domain portfolio management and online advertising services.

In 2017, KeyDrive generated revenues of US$58.26mln and adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) of US$5.87mln.

CentralNic, which derives its revenue from the worldwide sales of internet domain names and associated web presence services, said the acquisition would substantially increase its scale and product range, adding KeyDrive's strength in the domain reseller and corporate services market to CentralNic's existing expertise in the domain registry and retail registrar segments.

The directors believe that opportunities for both cost and revenue synergies exist, which the board expects to be realised as the two businesses are integrated.

The consideration for the acquisition comprises US$16.5mln in cash funded from a proposed placing of 46.1mln shares at 52p a share plus the issue of 28mln shares, valued at US$19.3mln (based on a value of 52p a share) to Inter.Services, a holding company whose largest shareholder is Alex Siffrin, the chief executive officer (CEO) of KeyDrive.

A performance-based earn-out of up to US$10.5mln will be put in place, of which a minimum of 15% will be settled in cash with the rest settled by the issue of CentralNic shares at the prevailing market price.

Trading in CentralNic's shares, which had been suspended pending the KeyDrive announcement, resumed at 8.00am on Monday, June 16, down 2.5p at 55.5p.

"The acquisition of KeyDrive is transformative for CentralNic, significantly increasing the Company's scale and giving it significant extra firepower in the domain name industry to rival the traditional major players. KeyDrive's values and reputation within the industry match CentralNic's. The acquisition makes strong strategic sense to CentralNic and is a leap forward towards becoming a global leader,” said Ben Crawford, CEO of CentralNic.

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Mon, 16 Jul 2018 08:08:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/200828/centralnic-closes-transformational-acquisition-of-keydrive-200828.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic hails strong year of revenue growth ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/197983/centralnic-hails-strong-year-of-revenue-growth-197983.html Internet domains firm CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) saw significant growth in its wholesale and retail divisions in 2017.

Revenues for the group as a whole rose by 10% to £24.35mln from £22.13mln in 2016, with the proportion of recurring revenues increasing to 84% (2016: 81%).

READ: CentralNic secures ‘.ooo’ distribution contract from Indian e-commerce giant Infibeam

The wholesale division’s revenues were up 48% and the retail side’s up 9% year-on-year.

The increase of revenue in the wholesale division was driven predominately by the .xyz and radix top-level domains (TLDs), along with registry consultancy.

Adjusted underlying earnings (Ebitda) in 2017 rose 20% to £6.61mln from £5.48mln the previous year, with the Ebitda margin rising by two percentage points to 27%.

Profit before tax rose to £1.37mln from £1.16mln in 2016.

Cash flow was positive during the year with year-end cash balances of £10.9 million (2016: £9.9 million) and net debt (excluding prepaid costs) of £7.2mln (2016: net cash £7.3mln).

The board intends at some point in the future to recommend the payment of dividends but for now, believes the money is better off being ploughed back into the business.

“The group continued its strategy to build a diversified internet services business of size and scale through an acquisitive roll-up programme which delivers high-levels of recurring revenues, quality of earnings and strong cash generation,” said Mike Turner, the chairman of CentralNic.

READ: Completion of SK-NIC acquisition

"SK-NIC, the manager of the exclusive country code top-level domain for Slovakia, was acquired in mid-December 2017 for a maximum cash consideration of €25.7 million (£22.6 million). The board anticipates SK-NIC to be earnings enhancing in line with expectations at the time of the acquisition, as well as providing access to a new international market with sustainable growth characteristics, a high renewal rate of over 86%, and the opportunity to leverage CentralNic's existing expertise and bespoke technical platforms in the domain management business,” Turner added.

"Significant growth was delivered in the Wholesale and Retail divisions, which contributed to an increase in recurring revenues and an improvement in the quality of the Group's earnings.

"Whilst the Enterprise Division made a significant contribution to the group's profits in the year under review, its contribution through one-off domain name sales reduced when compared to the prior year,” Turner explained.

"The directors are confident that the group will continue to deliver on its strategic goals in 2018, to deliver growth both organically and by expansion of the business, and further improve the percentage of recurring revenues and the group's quality of earnings," Turner said.  

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Thu, 31 May 2018 07:41:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/197983/centralnic-hails-strong-year-of-revenue-growth-197983.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic secures ‘.ooo’ distribution contract from Indian e-commerce giant Infibeam ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/193353/centralnic-secures-ooo-distribution-contract-from-indian-e-commerce-giant-infibeam-193353.html CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) has secured the distribution contract for the Top Level Domain (TLD) ‘.ooo’ from Indian e-commerce conglomerate, Infibeam Incorporation Limited.

The AIM-listed global software platform company said the ‘.ooo’ registry business has placed Infibeam in a strong position as an affordable alternative to ‘.com’ domains and is tailor-made for large-scale usage in existing and emerging markets.

READ: CentralNic confirms in talks on potential combination with Luxembourg-based KeyDrive; shares temporarily suspended

The company added that the '.ooo' registry would be a digital transformation tool for existing businesses to find online markets alongside allowing new business ideas to be realised.

Since its listing in September 2013, CentralNic has won contracts to distribute fifty TLDs.

Infibeam is listed on the Indian Stock Exchange and operates a business model including an online e-commerce platform, payments, logistics and digital marketing to merchants globally. The company has a market cap of over US$1bln.

Ben Crawford, CentralNic chief executive, said: "Anyone who has followed the Infibeam story from its launch only ten years ago to its current scale and growth rate could not doubt that Vishal Mehta and his team have the expertise, resources and track record of success to make .ooo a leading global domain.

"We are delighted to have been chosen as their partner for the global expansion phase of this business, as the first step towards a closer cooperation between our companies."

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Mon, 19 Mar 2018 07:23:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/193353/centralnic-secures-ooo-distribution-contract-from-indian-e-commerce-giant-infibeam-193353.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic confirms in talks on potential combination with Luxembourg-based KeyDrive; shares temporarily suspended ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/193148/centralnic-confirms-in-talks-on-potential-combination-with-luxembourg-based-keydrive-shares-temporarily-suspended-193148.html CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) has confirmed that discussions are taking place regarding the potential combination of the AIM-listed firm and Luxembourg-based KeyDrive S.A. and its subsidiaries including leading domain reseller platforms and the corporate registrar BrandShelter.

In a statement noting industry speculation, the domain names and services group said the two firm’s boards “believe that the combination of the two businesses would have strong strategic logic and economies of scale, and would represent an opportunity to create a group with advanced technology platforms delivering significant recurring revenues for every major customer type within the industry.“

READ: CentralNic's acquisition strategy augmenting its growth surge

CentralNic added that it currently anticipates the transaction will be completed in the second quarter of 2018, although with discussions still ongoing and there can be no certainty that a transaction will occur. 

If the deal proceeds, the firm said, it will constitute a reverse takeover by CentralNic, accordingly, trading in the group’s shares have been suspended on AIM with immediate effect.

The group added that a further announcement will be made when appropriate.

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Wed, 14 Mar 2018 10:38:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/193148/centralnic-confirms-in-talks-on-potential-combination-with-luxembourg-based-keydrive-shares-temporarily-suspended-193148.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic Group's acquisition strategy augmenting its growth surge ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/191851/centralnic-group-s-acquisition-strategy-augmenting-its-growth-surge-191851.html CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) is a fast-growing wholesale, retail and enterprise supplier of domain names and associated services, that has global ambitions.

For the uninitiated, in the internet world, the top-level domain (TLD) is the label given to the very last section of a web address, located after the last dot – so suffixes such as .com, .org and .gov.

READ: CentralNic secures US$3.4mln contract for sale of premium domain names

Back in 2011, a body called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) ended the restrictions on naming TLDs, ushering a new era for many companies such as CentralNic that had prepared properly for this revolution.

Domains using the new TLDs rose from 11mln at the beginning of 2016 to 27mln at the end with CentralNic riding this wave.

Crucial to this has been its relationship with XYZ.COM, which owns the .xyz TLD, one of the most popular in the world.

In September, the company renegotiated and renewed its exclusive wholesaler contract with XYZ.COM.

CentralNic will receive a fixed fee based on the volume of .xyz registrations and subscriptions managed.

The TLD has seen the most adoption from start-ups and entrepreneurs, as well as from business in emerging internet markets such as Indonesia and China.

Ben Crawford, chief executive of CentralNic, said: "The long-standing excellent relationship between CentralNic and .xyz has been updated to normalise the company's revenues and profits going forward.”

Acquisitions have also pulled their weight

CentralNic’s longer-term vision is to “join the ranks of world leaders in its industry, which include a number of multi-billion-dollar companies”.

Its growth strategy will focus on developing and scaling up its software platforms, while concentrating on growth areas, including China.

It also sees consolidation opportunities and chances to broaden its service offering.

Acquisitions must “meet clear strategic criteria including being earnings accretive in the short term with a strong recurring revenues base”.

Instra Group, acquired at the beginning of 2016, has been something of a star and now makes up the bulk of the retail division, the internet domain company’s largest and most lucrative arm.

During the first half of 2017, the retail business generated revenues of £7.97mln (H1 2016: £6.76mln), thanks to a full contribution from Instra this time around, which was responsible for around three-quarters of those sales.

Total revenues across the business – which also includes the wholesale and enterprise divisions – jumped 19% to £10.6mln (H1 2016: £8.9mln).

A slight improvement in margins saw gross profit surge by almost a third to £3mln (H1 2016: £2.3mln) while adjusted underlying earnings rose by 50% to 1.4mln (H1 2016: £0.9mln).

It is worth noting that the group’s results are traditionally weighted to the second half of the year. In December, the group revealed it was trading in line with expectations for the full year.

The acquisition of the Slovakian domain name manager SK-NIC for up to €26.1mln was another step forward in the group’s consolidation strategy.

The AIM-quoted outfit paid an initial €20.27mln for SK-NIC – which manages the top-level domain for Slovakia, .sk – with up to a further €5.85mln possibly to come in future milestone payments.

CentralNic said the SK-NIC purchase would be double-digit percentage earnings-enhancing in the first full year of ownership.

Given that the majority of Slovakian companies and websites use the .sk domain and 77% of those renew their licences every year, SK-NIC will increase the visibility and predictability of group revenues.

‘Acquisition another step forward’

“SK-NIC is a major, earnings enhancing acquisition for the group, which is wholly consistent with our growth strategy,” said chief executive Ben Crawford.

“The .sk country code adds a substantial new product and SK-NIC's network of over 2,100 local retailers extends our geographic footprint into an important new market with considerable growth potential.

“The acquisition of SK-NIC moves us another step forward in our strategy to increase substantially the proportion of group revenues generated from recurring revenue streams spread across diversified products, territories and customer types.”

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Mon, 19 Feb 2018 14:14:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/191851/centralnic-group-s-acquisition-strategy-augmenting-its-growth-surge-191851.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic secures US$3.4mln contract for sale of premium domain names ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/186851/centralnic-secures-us34mln-contract-for-sale-of-premium-domain-names-186851.html Centralnic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) has sold off “a number” of its premium domain names for US$3.4mln in cash.

The AIM-quoted firm said the sale was part of its strategy to grow its recurring base.

READ: CentralNic Group secures contract to support 14 new top-level domains

CentralNic will use the proceeds from the sale to drive further growth and expansion within the company.

"Management's primary focus remains on growing CentralNic's recurring revenue base and, therefore, premium domain name sales are expected to continue the trend of contributing a decreasing proportion of the Group's revenues from 2018,” said chief executive Ben Crawford.

READ: CentralNic on course to become “major global player” after encouraging first half

Shares opened 1.2% higher at 66p.

--Adds share price--

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Tue, 07 Nov 2017 07:53:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/186851/centralnic-secures-us34mln-contract-for-sale-of-premium-domain-names-186851.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic Group secures contract to support 14 new top-level domains ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/185876/centralnic-group-secures-contract-to-support-14-new-top-level-domains-185876.html CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) has secured a contract with Germany’s KSregistry to support 14 new top-level domains (TLDs).

The deal will benefit CentralNic with additional recurring revenues from government and enterprise clients, and will increase the number of new TLDs for which it is the registry management platform to 65. 

READ: CentralNic ticks higher as it unveils €26mln acquisition of Slovakian top-level domain manager

KSregistry's owners are among Europe's most successful experts in the domain name industry, claimed Ben Crawford, chief executive (CEO) of CentralNic.

Alexander Siffrin, CEO at KSregistry, said: "CentralNic's registry platform is the most advanced and feature rich in the world.”

"Coupled with KSregistry's unmatched management and customer service means that we can provide current and future TLD registry clients with the very best technology, experience and support at competitive pricing," Siffrin added.

In a separate announcement, the domain names specialist said there had been a delay in the completion of its acquisition of SK-NIC, the manager of the exclusive country code TLD for Slovakia.

As a result of complexities in the legal process, the acquisition is now expected to complete in November.

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Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:15:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/185876/centralnic-group-secures-contract-to-support-14-new-top-level-domains-185876.html
<![CDATA[Media files - CentralNic lining up further acquisitions after strong first half ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/8050/centralnic-lining-up-further-acquisitions-after-strong-first-half-8050.html Thu, 07 Sep 2017 15:20:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/8050/centralnic-lining-up-further-acquisitions-after-strong-first-half-8050.html <![CDATA[News - CentralNic on course to become “major global player” after encouraging first half ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/183580/centralnic-on-course-to-become-major-global-player-after-encouraging-first-half-183580.html Centralnic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) has said it is on track to become a “major global player” in the internet domain names sector after enjoying a “most encouraging” first half.

The AIM-quoted group told investors it had enjoyed strong organic growth in the period, while its recent acquisitions also served as a boost to the top and bottom lines.

Insta Group puts in another good shift

In particular, CentralNic heaped praise on Insta Group – acquired at the beginning of last year – which now makes up the bulk of the retail division, the group’s largest and most lucrative arm.

During the six months ended 30 June, the retail business generated revenues of £7.97mln (H1 2016: £6.76mln) thanks to a full contribution from Insta this time around, which was responsible for around three-quarters of those sales.

WATCH: CentralNic eyeing up more acquisitions after strong first half

Total revenues across the business – which also includes the wholesale and enterprise divisions – jumped 19% to £10.6mln (H1 2016: £8.9mln).

A slight improvement in margins saw gross profit surge by almost a third to £3mln (H1 2016: £2.3mln) while adjusted underlying earnings rose by 50% to 1.4mln (H1 2016: £0.9mln).

Recurring revenues continue to rise

CentralNic has often repeated its desire to grow its recurring revenues and it said the percentage of these “high-quality” earnings during the first half.

Its recent acquisition of Slovakian counterpart SK-NIC was “another step forward” with this strategy given its potential to “increase substantially the proportion of group revenues generated from recurring revenue streams”.

On track to hit full-year expectations

“Our underlying first half results have been most encouraging as CentralNic continues to deliver organic growth alongside significant earnings enhancing acquisitions,” said chairman Mike Turner.

"In keeping with the consistently heavy second-half weighting of results in recent years, the board is confident that the Company is on track to meet market expectations for the full year to 31 December 2017.”

Renewal of .xyz contract

Alongside today’s interims, CentralNic confirmed it has renegotiated and renewed its exclusive wholesaler contract with XYZ.COM, which owns the .xyz top-level domain.

The company will receive a fixed fee based on the volume of .xyz registrations and subscriptions managed.

.xyz is one of the most popular domain names in the world, with several high-profile tech businesses and individuals such as Google and Mark Zuckerberg using it for their websites.

CentralNic added that the suffix has seen the most adoption from start-ups and entrepreneurs, as well as from business in emerging internet markets such as Indonesia and China.

Ben Crawford, chief executive of CentralNic, said:  "The long-standing excellent relationship between CentralNic and .xyz has been updated to normalise the company's revenues and profits going forward.”

Shares were down 0.5% to 67.7p shortly before market close.

--Updates for share price and video link--

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Thu, 07 Sep 2017 07:48:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/183580/centralnic-on-course-to-become-major-global-player-after-encouraging-first-half-183580.html
<![CDATA[Media files - CentralNic clicks on significant acquisition in Slovakia ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/7998/centralnic-clicks-on-significant-acquisition-in-slovakia-7998.html Fri, 25 Aug 2017 10:24:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/7998/centralnic-clicks-on-significant-acquisition-in-slovakia-7998.html <![CDATA[News - CentralNic ticks higher as it unveils €26mln acquisition of Slovakian top-level domain manager ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/182982/centralnic-ticks-higher-as-it-unveils-26mln-acquisition-of-slovakian-top-level-domain-manager-182982.html CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) headed higher on Friday morning after the internet domain names specialist announced the €26mln acquisition of Slovakian counterpart SK-NIC and confirmed it is on track to hit full-year expectations.

The acquisition first: CentralNic is paying an initial €21.27mln for SK-NIC – which manages the top-level domain for Slovakia, .sk – plus up to a further €4.85mln in future milestone payments.

WATCH: CentralNic clicks on significant acquisition in Slovakia

The move is part of CentralNic’s strategy to expand into new territories and build up its product offering.

AIM-quoted CentralNic said the purchase, which is set to complete next month, would be double-digit earnings-enhancing in the first full year of ownership.

Given that the majority of Slovakian companies and websites use the .sk domain and 77% of those renew their licences every year, SK-NIC will also increase the visibility and predictability of group revenues.

Importantly, the SK-NIC management team and staff are staying with the business.

WATCH: 'Our growth is very encouraging' - CentralNic's Ben Crawford

“SK-NIC is a major, earnings enhancing acquisition for the group, which is wholly consistent with our growth strategy,” said chief executive Ben Crawford.

“The .sk country code adds a substantial new product and SK-NIC's network of over 2,100 local retailers extends our geographic footprint into an important new market with considerable growth potential.

“The acquisition of SK-NIC moves us another step forward in our strategy to increase substantially the proportion of group revenues generated from recurring revenue streams spread across diversified products, territories and customer types.”

Full-year performance on track

CentralNic is due to report its interims in a couple of weeks but gave investors a little taste of what’s to come today.

Revenue for the six months ended 30 June is expected to come in 19% higher at £10.59mln (H1 2016: £8.93mln), with underlying earnings (EBITDS) jumping 50% to £1.37mln (H1 2016: £908,000) on a constant currency basis.

As for its cash position, that remained healthy at £9.57mln as of the end of June, although CentralNic said it would be dipping into that to pay for some of today’s acquisition.

“Given the consistently heavy second-half weighting of results in recent years, the board is confident that the Company is on track to meet market expectations for the full year to 31 December 2017.

“The company continues to diversify through the acquisition of businesses with high-levels of recurring revenue and take advantage of increased opportunities to trade in valuable premium domain names.”

In early afternoon trading, CentralNic shares were 4.2%, or 2.75p higher at 68.0p.

--Adds video link, updates share price--

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Fri, 25 Aug 2017 08:21:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/182982/centralnic-ticks-higher-as-it-unveils-26mln-acquisition-of-slovakian-top-level-domain-manager-182982.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic reappoints former chief financial officer, shares soar ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/181335/centralnic-reappoints-former-chief-financial-officer-shares-soar-181335.html Internet domain specialist CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) has re-appointed Don Baladasan as its chief financial officer, sending its share price up by over a quarter.

Baladsan held the post between 2010 and 2014, a period that covered CentralNic's listing in 2013, before leaving to raise money for a number of AIM-listed companies.

Ben Crawford, CentralNic's chief executive, said: "We welcome Don back to CentralNic with his wealth of experience from financial expertise to buy & build and risk management.  These skills are particularly pertinent as CentralNic prepares to the go through the next stage of its growth." 

Current CFO Glenn Hayward has left to pursue other interests and Crawford wished him the very best of luck for the future.

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Mon, 24 Jul 2017 09:20:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/181335/centralnic-reappoints-former-chief-financial-officer-shares-soar-181335.html
<![CDATA[Media files - 'Our growth is very encouraging' - CentralNic's Ben Crawford ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/7420/-our-growth-is-very-encouraging-centralnic-s-ben-crawford-7420.html Tue, 09 May 2017 10:21:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/7420/-our-growth-is-very-encouraging-centralnic-s-ben-crawford-7420.html <![CDATA[News - Web domains firm CentralNic doubled revenues in 2016 thanks to acquisition boost ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/177495/web-domains-firm-centralnic-doubled-revenues-in-2016-thanks-to-acquisition-boost-177495.html CentralNic Group Plc (LON:CNIC) has revealed that revenue more than doubled in the twelve months ended December 31.

The internet domains firm’s financial results showed revenues up 113% to £22.12mln for the year, up from £10.39mln the year before.

Gross profit meanwhile rose by 58% to £7.66mln from £4.86mln, earnings (adjusted EBITDA) increased by 68% to £5.48mln from £2.95mln.

WATCH: CentralNic's boss says: 'Our growth is very encouraging'

CentralNic reported a £1.15mln profit before tax, compared with a £297,000 loss in the preceding twelve month period, while net cashflow from operations amounted to £3.31mln versus an outflow of £2.36mln in 2015.

The financials were boosted by CentralNIC’s acquisition of domains rival Instra, which completed in January 2016, which delivered some £10.28mln of additional revenue and £2.21mln of earnings.

During the period the group’s wholesale unit was notably successful, increasing market share by 10 percentage points – to 32% of the market compared to 22% - and the business is now ranked as the ‘number one’ for new top level web domains by volume.

CentralNIC highlighted that in the current year it is anticipating increased revenue from domain renewals given that that for the wholesale unit the base of domains due to renew or expire in 2017 amounts to 9.89mln, compared with 3.39mln last year.

It highlighted that a number of new top level domains are due to be launched.

The company also noted that it continues to assess potential acquisition targets, and it has appointed  Sarah Ryan as corporate development director to accelerate its business building process.

CentralNIC chairman, Mike Turner said: "The amount of change in the business is significant, with activity levels high across each of our three divisions and with our mergers and acquisitions programme continuing to bring benefits and present new and interesting opportunities to the group.

"With continued progress in all areas of our business, at this stage of the year we remain confident in the outlook for 2017."

He added: “In my first full year as Chairman of the CentralNic Group I have been pleased with the Group's strategic development. 

“We now have a more diverse business active in the majority of the world's geographic markets, notably with expansion of our retail services following the acquisition of the Instra Group. 

“This is important to the future of our business, not least in providing a strong and comprehensive retail capability in close geographic proximity to emerging domain name markets, notably in the Asia Pacific region.”

"Another significant development during 2016 was the increased adoption of domain names from the new Top Level Domain name programme. 

“The new TLD programme is regarded as the biggest change in our industry for many years. 

“It is particularly pleasing that, as a result of the first application round of new TLDs, CentralNic is contracted as registry service provider to some of the most successful new TLDs, including the leader by volume, .xyz.”

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Tue, 09 May 2017 07:58:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/177495/web-domains-firm-centralnic-doubled-revenues-in-2016-thanks-to-acquisition-boost-177495.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic in talks to acquire Slovakian registry services provider ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/175347/centralnic-in-talks-to-acquire-slovakian-registry-services-provider-175347.html Fast-growing top level internet domain names specialist CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) has confirmed it is in talks with a Slovakian registry service provider.

Responding to industry speculation, the UK company said it is mulling buying SK-NIC, the registry service provider for the .sk country code top level domain for Slovakia.

As is usual in this sort of announcement, the company cautioned there is no guarantee that the talks will lead to an acquisition being made.

"No further details are available, although the deal would be regarded as a significant transaction," noted Peel Hunt.

"CentralNic’s acquisitions in the past have been successful, bringing new recurring earnings streams, hence this news may be welcomed by investors, but we await the terms of any deal," the broker said, as it stuck with its 'buy' recommendation.

Shares in CentralNic were off 1.65 at 46p in mid-morning trading.

---adds share price and broker comment---

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Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:58:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/175347/centralnic-in-talks-to-acquire-slovakian-registry-services-provider-175347.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Growth in 2016 'massive' says CentralNic's Crawford ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/7072/growth-in-2016-massive-says-centralnic-s-crawford-7072.html Thu, 09 Mar 2017 13:20:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/7072/growth-in-2016-massive-says-centralnic-s-crawford-7072.html <![CDATA[News - CentralNic makes a believer of Peel Hunt ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/174470/centralnic-makes-a-believer-of-peel-hunt-174470.html Peel Hunt has got off the fence and is recommending its clients buy shares in CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) after yesterday’s results.

The numbers were in line with expectations and therefore the broker is not altering its earnings and revenue estimates.

It does seem, however, that the broker is more bullish about the group’s acquisition opportunities following the successful purchase of Instra in January of last year.

“CNIC is building out its retail and wholesale businesses, thereby growing its recurring revenue base and confirming it as a go-to partner for domain owners in the future,” Peel Hunt said.

“It has a long established, solid technical and management base on to which to add external growth – its small revenue by comparison to leaders such as GoDaddy, belies its industry presence,” the broker added.

CentralNic is a wholesale, retail and enterprise supplier of domain names and other, associated services.

For the uninitiated the top-level domain (TLD) is the label given to the very last section of an internet name, located after the last dot – so suffixes such as .com, .org and .gov. 

It has a long way to go to be the daddy of the sector, judging by GoDaddy in’s (NYSE:GDDY) £6.1bn market capitalisation – CentralNic is valued at just £45mln – but Peel Hunt thinks the UK player’s earnings quality should steadily improve as the renewal revenue stream grows and it gets the chance to upsell  value-added services.

“In the meantime it has a proven track record of earnings delivery, with profit growth throughout its three year listed life, and a supportive balance sheet for organic growth,” Peel Hunt said, as it lifted its target price from 48p to 62p and moved from ‘hold’ to ‘buy’. 

 

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Wed, 08 Mar 2017 12:34:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/174470/centralnic-makes-a-believer-of-peel-hunt-174470.html
<![CDATA[News - Slovakian acquisition the latest piece in CentralNic's global puzzle ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/174370/slovakian-acquisition-the-latest-piece-in-centralnic-s-global-puzzle-174370.html Centralnic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) is a wholesale, retail and enterprise supplier of domain names and other, associated services.

For the uninitiated the top-level domain (TLD) is the label given to the very last section of an internet name, located after the last dot – so suffixes such as .com, .org and .gov.  

Back in 2011 a body called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) ended the restrictions on naming TLDs, ushering a new era for many companies such as CentralNic that had prepared properly for this revolution.

Domains using the new TLDs rose from 11mln at the beginning of last year to 27mln at the end with CentralNic riding this wave. It is now the number-one provider with market share by volume currently around 32%, up from 20%.

The Chinese market accounted for 60% of all new top-level domain sales globally and the AIM-listed company was the biggest non-domestic wholesale provider there with exclusivity over .xyz, .site, .ink and .design.

Joining the world leaders

CentralNic’s longer-term vision is to “join the ranks of world leaders in its industry, which include a number of multi-billion-dollar companies”.

It also sees consolidation opportunities and chances to broaden its “service offering”.

WATCH: 'Our growth is very encouraging' says CEO

Its growth strategy will focus on developing and scaling up its software platforms, while concentrating on growth areas including China.

Acquisitions are also, potentially, on the cards but they must “meet clear strategic criteria including being earnings accretive in the short term with a strong recurring revenues base”.

“With support from our investors, we look forward to continuing the evolution of our business in 2017, scaling up to meet the demand for domain name services as it grows globally," said CEO Crawford.

SK-NIC addition part of that global growth strategy 

Speaking of acquisitions, CentralNic has snapped up Slovakian domain name manager SK-NIC for up to €26mln.

The AIM-quoted outfit is paying an initial €21.27mln for SK-NIC – which manages the top-level domain for Slovakia, .sk – plus up to a further €4.85mln in future milestone payments.

READ: CentralNic ticks higher as it unveils €26mln acquisition  WATCH: Boss Ben Crawford discuss Slovakian purchase...

The move is the latest part of CentralNic’s strategy to expand into new territories and build up its product offering.

CentralNic said the purchase, which is set to complete in September, would be double-digit earnings-enhancing in the first full year of ownership.

Given that the majority of Slovakian companies and websites use the .sk domain and 77% of those renew their licences every year, SK-NIC will increase the visibility and predictability of group revenues.

‘Acquisition another step forward’

“SK-NIC is a major, earnings enhancing acquisition for the group, which is wholly consistent with our growth strategy,” said chief executive Ben Crawford.

“The .sk country code adds a substantial new product and SK-NIC's network of over 2,100 local retailers extends our geographic footprint into an important new market with considerable growth potential.

“The acquisition of SK-NIC moves us another step forward in our strategy to increase substantially the proportion of group revenues generated from recurring revenue streams spread across diversified products, territories and customer types.”

Full-year performance on track

CentralNic is due to report its interims in early September but it's  already given investors a little taste of what’s to come.

Revenue for the six months ended 30 June is expected to come in 19% higher at £10.59mln (H1 2016: £8.93mln), with underlying earnings (EBITDS) jumping 50% to £1.37mln (H1 2016: £908,000) on a constant currency basis.

As for its cash position, that remained healthy at £9.57mln as of the end of June, although CentralNic said it would be dipping into that to pay for some of the SK-NIC acquisition.

“Given the consistently heavy second-half weighting of results in recent years, the board is confident that the company is on track to meet market expectations for the full year to 31 December 2017."

Broker's take on the stock

Zeus Capital said CentralNic’s financial performance was in line with expectations, although it thinks forecast revenues of £25.7mln and adjusted EBITDA of £6.5mln for the current year may prove a little “prudent”.

The shares are up 40% or so in 2017 to just shy of 68p each, although the broker thinks they're relatively undervalued comapred to some of CentralNic's peers.

“Given the growth prospects of the business, coupled with the strong operating cash flow characteristics, the impressive track record being built by management via successful acquisitions and the diversification of the business, we feel the shares offer investors a value opportunity given the industry backdrop, where CentralNic’s listed peers are typically capitalised in the billions of dollars,” he said in a note to clients.

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Tue, 07 Mar 2017 07:04:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/174370/slovakian-acquisition-the-latest-piece-in-centralnic-s-global-puzzle-174370.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic appoints industry veteran as commercial director ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/173048/centralnic-appoints-industry-veteran-as-commercial-director-173048.html CentralNic PLC (LON:CNIC), the internet domains specialist, has beefed up its senior management team with another former Group NBT veteran: Stuart Fuller.

Fuller will join as group commercial director, heading up worldwide sales activities.

He spent 11 years at Group NBT (now known as NetNames), where he was responsible for commercial operations.

He’ll find at least one familiar face at his new firm, as former Group NBT executive Andy Churley joined CentralNic in late 2016 to head up their marketing operations.

"We are very excited to be welcoming Stuart on board," said Ben Crawford, chief executive officer of CentralNic.

"His track record in the domain name industry is impressive and the pairing of Stuart and Andy, which was so effective at Group NBT, will help drive CentralNic's organic growth," Crawford said.

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Mon, 13 Feb 2017 08:05:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/173048/centralnic-appoints-industry-veteran-as-commercial-director-173048.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic undervalued after transformational year ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/170455/centralnic-undervalued-after-transformational-year-170455.html Internet domains specialist CentralNic PLC (LON:CNIC) has signed its biggest ever premium web domain name sale.

The group, which is still celebrating last week’s decision by the Chinese authorities to give the green light to the .XYZ top level domain (TLD), said the domain name sale would rake in revenues of US$4.5mln that would be used to further accelerate growth within the group.

The internet infrastructure group said the deal should add roughly £2.8mln to 2016’s underlying earnings (EBITDA), ensuring that this year’s earnings would be substantially ahead of last year’s, in line with expectations.

During 2016 CentralNic's wholesale division retained its position as the global leader by volume, accounting for almost one in three of all new generic TLD (gTLD) name registrations. 

The main element of CentralNic’s business is to provide the technical back end for internet domains. It runs and maintains the register of web site addresses on behalf of the domain name owners.

The wave of new gTLDs has been a long time coming, with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) opting in 2011 to massively increase the number available, offering alternatives to familiar gTLDs such as .com, .biz, .org and .info.

The .XYZ is far and away the most popular of the new gTLDs and has been talked of as the new alternative to .com .

“There are  excellent prospects for future growth moving into 2017, resulting from a much larger base of domain names due to renew combined with the accreditation of the .xyz TLD by China's Ministry for Industry and Information Technology,” the group said.

Boosted by the acquisition late last year of Instra Group, CentralNic’s retail division is now the group’s biggest money-earner. In an update on trading, the group confirmed that the division’s earnings should be in line with expectations.

CentralNic's enterprise division has achieved record results in premium domain name trading. Progress was also made in developing software licensing and managed service revenues, although new corporate customer acquisition is taking longer than anticipated, the company revealed.

 "2016 has been a transformational year for CentralNic, adding significant scale to the group with revenues expected to grow by over 110% and adjusted EBITDA by over 65%,” said Ben Crawford, chief executive officer of CentralNic.

“The group is now well positioned to continue to grow its recurring earnings businesses, notably wholesale and retail, while seeking to become an established supplier to the enterprise domain name market. We look forward to continue executing our growth strategy in 2017," he added.

CentralNic’s nominated adviser and joint broker took note of the comment about new corporate customer acquisition taking longer than expected in the corporate market segment, and responded by trimming its earnings forecasts.

It thinks some of the earnings growth pencilled in for this year will now feed through next year.

“We have reduced our sales forecast by 3% to £25.7mln and gross margin to 36.2% (versus 39.7% previously). As a result, our EBITDA forecast reduces by 14.5% to £6.5mln from £7.6mln, although this still represents YoY [year-on-year] growth of 14%,” the broker said.

Zeus added the caveat that those projections may prove to be on the prudent side.

Dividing the enterprise value (EV) – essentially the cost of buying the company and taking on its debt – by next year’s forecast EBITDA gives a multiple of five, which Zeus said makes the shares “extremely good value versus the sector”.

“If the shares traded on 9x EV/EBITDA, which is below the sector, the price would be 74p, 58% upside to the current share price,” the broker noted.

Shares in CentralNic were up 0.5% at 47p towards the end of trading on Wednesday.

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Wed, 14 Dec 2016 07:53:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/170455/centralnic-undervalued-after-transformational-year-170455.html
<![CDATA[Media files - CentralNic boss says more to come in China as he reveals US$4.5mln sale ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/6607/centralnic-boss-says-more-to-come-in-china-as-he-reveals-us45mln-sale-6607.html Wed, 14 Dec 2016 07:04:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/6607/centralnic-boss-says-more-to-come-in-china-as-he-reveals-us45mln-sale-6607.html <![CDATA[News - CentralNic says China gives green light for .XYZ domains ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/170099/centralnic-says-china-gives-green-light-for-xyz-domains-170099.html The .XYZ top level domain (TLD) is coming to China, domain name and internet services company CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) revealed.

CentralNic, .XYZ's exclusive distributor, said that the TLD – the bit of an internet address after the final dot – is the most popular of the new generic TLDs that are being introduced (so-called “not.com” domains), and following a decision by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), businesses and individuals in China will now be able to use it.

CentralNic said it worked with the .XYZ organisation to put in place a customised technology platform that has been approved by both the global internet regulator ICANN and China's MIIT.

MIIT-accredited .XYZ web addresses will be available via Chinese domain registrars from the 16th December 2016.

"I am delighted that our partner .XYZ has received its MIIT accreditation, .XYZ has always been the dominant new TLD, and China the biggest new TLD market. It's an exciting moment that should see .XYZ grow even faster," declared Ben Crawford, chief executive officer (CEO) of CentralNic.

“.XYZ is actively sold through more retailers (‘registrars’) than any other new top-level domain name, and is already a multi-million seller in China, as Chinese citizens have obtained the .XYZ they wanted in anticipation of the MIIT accreditation,” he added.

Daniel Negari, CEO of .XYZ, said:  "Accreditation in China is one of .XYZ's most significant milestones to date. CentralNic has been an amazing back-end partner of XYZ and went above and beyond its contractual requirements to help navigate through foreign policies and technical requirements.”

The main element of CentralNic’s business is to provide the technical back end for internet domains. It runs and maintains the register of web site addresses on behalf of the domain name owners.

The wave of new gTLDs has been a long time coming, with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) opting in 2011 to massively increase the number available, offering alternatives to familiar gTLDs such as .com, .biz, .org and .info.

The .XYZ is far and away the most popular of the new gTLDs and has been talked of as the new alternative to .com .

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Wed, 07 Dec 2016 07:37:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/170099/centralnic-says-china-gives-green-light-for-xyz-domains-170099.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic beefs up its senior management team ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/169239/centralnic-beefs-up-its-senior-management-team-169239.html Andy Churley, a highly experienced domain industry professional, has joined CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) as group marketing director.

The world leader in domain name and internet services said Churley will oversee the marketing strategy and operations for the CentralNic group of companies.

Churley previously held senior roles in Famous Four Media, a global registry management company, and NetNames, which investors might remember when it was a listed company called Group NBT.

“His in-depth industry knowledge coupled with his marketing and product skill-set will help CentralNic accelerate our plans for rapid growth,” said Ben Crawford, CentralNic’s chief executive officer.

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Mon, 21 Nov 2016 07:11:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/169239/centralnic-beefs-up-its-senior-management-team-169239.html
<![CDATA[Media files - .xyz domain helping to drive growth at CentralNic ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/6171/xyz-domain-helping-to-drive-growth-at-centralnic-6171.html Wed, 12 Oct 2016 12:30:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/6171/xyz-domain-helping-to-drive-growth-at-centralnic-6171.html <![CDATA[News - CentralNic’s jump in billings confirms step-up following Instra acquisition ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/163599/centralnics-jump-in-billings-confirms-step-up-following-instra-acquisition-163599.html When it unveiled the acquisition of Instra Group in late 2015 CentralNic described the deal as transformational, though in this case the occassional corporate cliché clearly rings true.

Interim results released on Wednesday, including the Instra business, showed a 468% jump in bookings for the six months ended June 30.

Bookings - the gross amount charged for domains before CentralNic’s revenue sharing arrangements with its domain partners - amounted to £45.08mln, compared to £7.93mln in the same period of last year.

CentralNic’s revenue amounted to £8.9mln, double the £4.44mln in the first half of 2015.

Each of the group’s divisions showed progress though, significantly, the wholesale business stands out.  The growth in that division was described as unprecedented by CentralNic, and indeed, it the impact in terms of market share was very significant – rising to over 34% of the wholesale market from 20%.

The company highlighted that it now supports six of the top 25 new top-level domains (including the most popular of all .xyz).

It also highlighted that since June it has offered a ‘gateway service’ to connect domains that use rival wholesalers.

Confident of achieving market expectations

CentralNic chairman Mike Turner, in Wednesday’s statement, said: “During 2016 to date, CentralNic has advanced its growth strategy through the acquisition of the Instra Group. Together with Internet.BS, the group is now able to address demand from a number of retail segments across geographic markets.

“This reflects our strategy to enhance the quality and visibility of the group's earnings.”

He added: “Trading in our core businesses overall has remained in line with the board's expectations since the half year.

“Our team is in discussions with trade buyers for premium domain name sales, and anticipating that these sales will proceed, the board is confident of achieving the market expectations for the year."

As much as the obviously scaling up of CentralNic’s business encourages, the bottom line for the six-monthly results underline that the group must continue to build on this momentum.

Whittling down from £45.08mln of billings, to £8.9mln of revenues the group reported adjusted earnings of £1.3mln and ultimately a £1.3mln interim loss after tax.

Plainly CentralNic has marked significant progress in its growth, though there remains quite some way left to go.

What does CentralNic actually do?

The main element of CentralNic’s business is to provide the technical back end for internet domains.

Put simply it runs and maintains the register of website addresses on behalf of the domain name owners.

It serves 1,500 vendors across 77 countries. And it is the exclusive wholesaler for 30 of the new top level domain extensions – including ‘.xyz’, ‘.site’, ‘.online’, ‘.website’, ‘.space’, and ‘.tech’.

According to CentralNic one of every three websites registered onto new domains rely on the company’s platform.

Domains are sold to website operators on annual subscription basis, and as those payments are collected upon sign-up or renewal a fixed fee is paid to CentralNic for its services.

.xyz is the largest and most popular new domain

For most investors, CentralNic appeared on the radar just over a year ago, as the group’s AIM share price more than doubled after Google chose a .xyz web domain name for the corporate web site of Alphabet, Google’s new holding company.

It was a high profile moment for the domain - and in turn CentralNIC – as it confirmed a few investors had already observed; this was a new and exciting opportunity in the web domain business.

“Xyz was always the most successful new top level domain," CentralNic chief executive Ben Crawford previously told Proactive Investors.

“There were already over one million domains registered to .xyz, and none of the others new domains have come close.”

The high profile news event put the spotlight on the potential of new domains generally, and .xyz specifically.

In the second half of 2016 xyz remains an important aspect to the CentalNic business.

The company highlighted in the outlook that it has supported the .xyz anniversary marketing campaign and that it has seen “unprecedented success in building the domain inventory for renewal next year.”

CentralNIC is about more just than xyz

As well as xyz, CentralNIC is the partner for many new domains.

CentralNic acts as the key technical intermediary. It is the exclusive middleman between entrepreneurial investors – those that secured the rights to the new domains - and customer facing internet companies like GoDaddy that sell them to web site owners.

Addresses ending with .tickets and .fans for example have been set up with specific purposes and target audiences in mind – basically to resonate specifically with a certain type of audience or purpose.

This new ‘usefulness’ has already been recognised by major brands like Manchester United, Formula One and eBay (to name just a few).

In the same way, other new domains from CentalNic such as .bar, .press or .college have clearly defined types of customers in mind.

Recent launches include the .store, .art and .fm top level domains.

The Verisign comparison

What happened with .com is central to the investment case for CentralNic, and this potential becomes clear with just a cursory comparison with Verisign (the Nasdaq quoted operator of the .com and .net domains).

Verisign, worth nearly US$8bn, ended 2014 with around 130mln .com and .net domain names in its ‘name-base’ and it generated some $600mln of cash flow, from US$890mln of revenue.

It may still be fairly early days as CentralNic continues to amass scale, but, if the group can replicate anything like the same trajectory as Verisign and .com, the potential for very significant value creation appears obvious.

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Wed, 07 Sep 2016 12:54:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/163599/centralnics-jump-in-billings-confirms-step-up-following-instra-acquisition-163599.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic reveals a major scale up of domains business ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/163012/centralnic-reveals-a-major-scale-up-of-domains-business-163012.html CentralNic Group Plc (LON:CNIC) has scaled its wholesale internet domain business at an unprecedented pace as its clients have gained market share, chairman Mike Turner highlighted in Wednesday’s interim results.

For the six months to June 30, the group reports some £45.08mln of billings - the gross amount charged for domains before revenue sharing - which represents a huge 468% increase compared to the same period of 2015.

CentralNic’s revenue amounted to £8.9mln, double the £4.44mln in the first half of last year. Gross profit was up 19% to £2.28mln, while it reported earnings (adjusted EBITDA) of £1.3mln.

The apparent step change in the business was in-part due to the acquisition of Instra Group in January, though it was also noted that premium domain sales in 2015 did not re-occur in the first half of 2016. Margins reduced to 26% from 43% last year.

It reported adjusted pre-tax profits of £948,000, though after tax the group made a £1.3mln loss.

CentralNic ended the first half with £9.25mln of cash and equivalents, and £6.04mln of net cash after borrowings.

"During 2016 to date, CentralNic has advanced its growth strategy through the acquisition of the Instra Group. Together with Internet.BS, the group is now able to address demand from a number of retail segments across geographic markets,” Turner said.

“This reflects our strategy to enhance the quality and visibility of the group's earnings.”

He added: “Trading in our core businesses overall has remained in line with the board's expectations since the half year.

“Our team is in discussions with trade buyers for premium domain name sales, and anticipating that these sales will proceed, the Board is confident of achieving the market expectations for the year."

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Wed, 07 Sep 2016 07:38:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/163012/centralnic-reveals-a-major-scale-up-of-domains-business-163012.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic tunes into .FM ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/128831/centralnic-tunes-into-fm-128831.html Internet domain name seller CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) has bagged the rights to exclusively distribute the .FM domain on its global technical platform.

The rights to the top level domain (TLD – the bit of the web address that comes after the final dot – are owned by San Francisco-based BRS Media.

The expectation is that the .FM TLD, with its association with music radio, will be used predominantly by music-related businesses, such as pioneering music streaming site Last.fm.

CentralNic will work with BRS Media to continue to promote .FM among the online streaming and music industries.

 “.FM and its affiliated domain extensions are good examples of how to succeed as 'dotIndustry' domains, with their longstanding adoption by companies who have redefined their industry, such as Last.fm,” said Ben Crawford, chief executive officer (CEO) of CentralNic.

BRS Media’s CEO, George Bundy, said migrating onto the CentralNic platform gives its TLDs and second level domains (SLDs) immediate access to many more active domain name sellers (registrars) than it had before.

In depth: CentralNic winning the online land grab battle Watch: CentralNic’s rapid growth won’t stop soon, says CEO

Other domain extensions under this agreement include .RADIO.fm and .RADIO.am, which are geared towards bootstrap start-ups, small office/home offices, entrepreneurs, one-person streaming companies, as well as traditional radio broadcasters across the globe.

Finally, under the same agreement, CentralNic will also launch .AM and the .co.am, .com.am, .net.am and .org.am subdomains through its new disruptive Registry Gateway Service at the end of August 2016.  The Registry Gateway Service allows registrars to access multiple extensions from multiple registries through one single EPP (Extensible Provisioning Protocol) connection.  

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Mon, 01 Aug 2016 07:59:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/128831/centralnic-tunes-into-fm-128831.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic signed up for .art internet domain ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/127229/centralnic-signed-up-for-art-internet-domain-127229.html CentralNic Group Plc (LON:CNIC) has been signed up by UK Creative Ideas Limited (UKCI) to be the exclusive registry services provider for the new .art internet domain.

UKCI is targeting the world’s US$68bn art market and the artist community with the new domain, CentralNic said.

It also highlighted that the online art market grew 24% in the past year, and added that the .art domain will make it easier for consumers and search engines to distinguish art-related websites.

The UKCI venture is led by Russian venture capitalist Ulvi Kasimov, who is also a sponsor of arts exhibitions and is on the board of trustees for the Moscow Multi-Media Art Museum.

Kasimov is best known in the investment community as the man behind Russian investment fund Sferiq, sponsor of the European Investor Allstar Awards in recent years.

"The Top-Level Domain industry has not previously encountered a venture capitalist of the calibre of Ulvi Kasimov, whose exciting vision for the a new online home for the art world comes backed with the resources and expertise to execute at a global scale,” said Ben Crawford, CentralNic chief executive.

“We are delighted that UKCI have selected CentralNic as their exclusive registry service provider.  .ART has the potential to be one of the great success stories in the restructuring of the Internet, and we are proud to be providing the technical platform to support it."

Kasimov, meanwhile, added: “As well as being the world's leading distributor of new TLD domain names by volume, CentralNic's new TLD registry support team have proven that they have the expertise and flexibility to meet .ART's requirements."

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Fri, 17 Jun 2016 07:27:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/127229/centralnic-signed-up-for-art-internet-domain-127229.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic results show continued scaling up of web domain business ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/126349/centralnic-results-show-continued-scaling-up-of-web-domain-business-126349.html Financial results from CentralNic Group Plc (LON:CNIC) show the web domains group continues to add scale to is business, something that will be further boosted by the recent acquisition of Instra Group.

Instra Group was acquired in January and the deal is seen as ‘transformational’ by chairman Mike Turner.

CentralNic - which acts as a wholesaler and technical partner to companies selling new internet domains – bought out its rival and in doing so cemented its dominant position in its sector. The group’s leading position was further underlined last month, as it became the first new domain wholesaler to reach 4mln domain sales.

In results for the twelve months to December 31, meanwhile, CentralNic continued to show organic growth.

Revenue rose 71% to £10.39mln, up from £6mln in the previous year.

Gross profit was reported at £4.86mln, up from £3.3mln, while earnings (adjusted EBITDA) was stated as £3.25mln (from £1.7mln) and pre-tax profit amounted to £1.45mln (from £520,000).

The company said it generated some £5.68mln of net cashflow last year versus a 2014 comparative of £1.4mln.

In his accompanying statement, Turner said: "2015 was a positive year for the Group, with progress made in terms of increasing the scale of the business.”

He added: “The opportunity in our market is considerable, with the continuing roll out of new Top-Level Domains and enduring demand for established generic and country code Top-Level Domains presenting the Group with retail and wholesale opportunities across the majority of the world's markets. 

“Indeed, while the world's internet users are still less than half of the global population, the industry is set to continue growing, especially with increasing access to mobile data devices across emerging markets.

"There is still work to be done to transform our business but we have demonstrated positive steps with the acquisition and integration of Instra.”

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Wed, 25 May 2016 07:32:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/126349/centralnic-results-show-continued-scaling-up-of-web-domain-business-126349.html
<![CDATA[Media files - CentralNic’s rapid growth won’t stop soon, says CEO ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/4977/centralnics-rapid-growth-wont-stop-soon-says-ceo-4977.html Tue, 03 May 2016 15:24:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/4977/centralnics-rapid-growth-wont-stop-soon-says-ceo-4977.html <![CDATA[News - CentralNic passes another significant sales milestone ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/125477/centralnic-passes-another-significant-sales-milestone-125477.html CentralNic Group Plc (LON:CNIC) revealed it has crossed a significant sales milestone as it became the first wholsale (or registry backend) to record four million sales under new top-level domains.

The sharp pick up in new domain registrations is underlined by the fact that the 3mln domain marker was reached only months ago, in February 2016.

"Our continued pre-eminence as the world's leading wholesaler or ‘registry backend’ for new Top-Level Domains is due to several factors,” said Ben Crawford, CentralNic’s chief executive.

He added: “Firstly, we enable our clients to access more retailers than any of our peers, including in the fast growing China market where we are the clear leader among non-Chinese distributors.

"Secondly, the quality of the domains we distribute is second to none.

“We have a phenomenal portfolio of premium, industry-specific ‘Dot Industry’ TLDs as well as a new generation of generic, value priced domains such as .xyz and .website, which are rapidly increasing in uptake by both small businesses in the emerging world as well as the most successful players in the tech industry."

The stats, provided via a domain industry statistics website (ntldstats.com), show that CentralNic was ranked in the sector’s number one spot on May 3 with 4.005mln domains registered. That represents some 23.33% of all domains registered on the newly released top level web domains.

It was also highlighted that five high profile domains, which are exclusive to the CentralNic wholesale platform, feature in the top twenty of the 978 new domains launched to date.

The exclusive domains are .xyz, .site, .online, .website, and .space.

Notably, the stats also reveal that one of those five exclusive domains (.site) had moved up from number 19 to the seventh most subscribe for new domains.

CentralNic highlighted that its wholesale division is one of three growing businesses in the group, all of which benefit from very strong cashflows, recurring earnings and scalability with relatively fixed costs.

The company added that its retail division was boosted earlier this year with the acquisition of Instra Group, while its enterprise division is taking advantage of the increasing role of large corporations in the domain name industry.

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Tue, 03 May 2016 08:52:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/125477/centralnic-passes-another-significant-sales-milestone-125477.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic & Radix launch .STORE domain for e-commerce ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/125217/centralnic-radix-launch-store-domain-for-e-commerce-125217.html CentralNic Group Plc (LON:CNIC) told investors a new deal with existing client Radix FZC has seen the launch of new top level web domain ‘.STORE’, which will exclusively use the company’s backend technology platform.

It means web domain sellers such as GoDaddy, 1&1, and Tucows will now be empowered to sell .STORE domains to e-commerce and other websites, the company said.

The company also highlighted that, according to stats from ntldstats.com, its backend obtains more sales of new top level domains that any other provider.

CentralNic receives a set fee for every domain registered, making it one of the few companies making profits from new Top-Level Domains with its overall revenue further enhanced from the popularity of the new domain.

"Radix has pulled off another significant coup in obtaining the .STORE TLD and in bringing it to market as the first e-commerce TLD,” said Ben Crawford, CentralNic chief executive.

The news follows the announcement in January that Japan’s GMO Registry paid US$41.5 m for the rights to the  .SHOP Top-Level Domain , which is yet to launch.

“CentralNic values our long term relationship with Radix, which has already emerged as one of the most successful companies in the new Top-Level Domain space, and is excited to be Radix's partner in ensuring the smooth launch and supporting the expected growth of the .STORE TLD."

Radix has already achieved top twenty rankings for four of its top-level domains - namely .WEBSITE, .SPACE, .ONLINE and .SITE - and all those domains also exclusively use CentralNic’s as its technical backend partner. This is a significant achievement for both Radix and CentralNic considering that almost 1,000 new TLDs have been launched by competitors.

With .STORE, Radix is targeting established brands, small businesses, and start-ups. Stats, from Domainsbot, indicate that currently there are more than 1.7mln e-commerce enabled websites , of which 1.1mln are standalone e-commerce sites.

But, Radix highlights a secondary target market also exists among offline storage or warehousing groups, or online cloud storage companies which may want to use .STORE for their websites.

Sandeep Ramchandani, Radix vice president, described CentralNic as a ‘trusted and proven partner’, and he said has great confidence in the AIM company’s technical expertise in meeting Radix’s expansion goals in global markets.

“While the purpose for .STORE is specific to websites and platforms that offer products or services for sale online, the target market is global and highly diverse,” he said in a statement.

“We see a great fit for traditional owner managed businesses as they make their way into selling online, as we do for modern start-ups with a commerce motive.

“The entire spectrum can look to find their 'brandname.STORE' which would be their perfect gateway to a dedicated web commerce site, or short URL to their internal commerce specific landing page.”

Ramchandani highlighted that Radix sees most demand coming from existing brands during the first few years. Such customers are likely to seek a new short, clear and precise call-to-action in their marketing messages, he added.

The .STORE launch is now in the ‘sunrise’ period, which means that trademark owners will now be invited to secure their domains – i.e. ‘TheirTrademark.STORE’ – and after that the roll-out moves to the ‘early access’ phase whereby anyone will be able to register domain names on a first-come, first served basis by paying an early access fee.

Early access starts on June 7. Subsequently, the .STORE domain will enter the general availability phase on June 14.

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Tue, 26 Apr 2016 07:51:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/125217/centralnic-radix-launch-store-domain-for-e-commerce-125217.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic winning the online land grab battle ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/110842/centralnic-winning-the-online-land-grab-battle-110842.html CentralNIC (LON:CNIC) boss Ben Crawford believes the .xyz web domain could become the new ‘.com’, and the strong take-up of the new top level domain in the last few months backs that up.

For most investors, the internet company appeared on the radar last summer, as the AIM share price more than doubled after Google chose a .xyz web domain name for the corporate web site of Alphabet, Google’s new holding company.

It was certainly a high profile moment for CentralNIC, though to those already watching the company closely it confirmed what they had already observed; this was a new and exciting opportunity in the web domain business.

“Xyz was always the most successful new top level domain," Crawford said.

“There were already over one million domains registered to .xyz, and none of the others new domains have come close.”

The high profile news event put the spotlight on the potential of new domains generally, and .xyz specifically.

CentralNIC is the technical partner and distributor of .xyz web domains and four others in the top twenty out of more than 900 new top-level domains (TLDs) launched to date.

Driven by the domain’s popularity it has captured a major portion of the market share – 23.94% of all new generic top level domains (gTLDs), according to domain industry statistics web site ntldstats.com.

CentralNic was the first company globally to achieve two million new TLD registrations in November 2015, and it did not take long – three months – for the company to breeze past the three million milestone.

The sale of any single domain name, even to Google, represents only a small amount of revenue share to CentralNic, but multiply that by the 1.5 million domains (and climbing) that CentralNic has sold, the revenues are meaningful and increasing.

More important than the revenues from Google is the endorsement of CentralNic’s new domains and the exposure achieved for .xyz and other alternatives to .com and .co.uk domain names.

It was the kind of high profile validation that Crawford and his team had been expecting, albeit they did not know exactly how and when it would come.

“We had announced at the beginning of the year that when the global ‘mega-brands’ start to use new TLDs that will be when everyone in the world will suddenly start learn about them.

“Exactly as we predicted, that is what happened with abc.xyz.

“Suddenly, a global mega-brand (Google) decides to a .xyz domain and twice as many people than before now know about the new top level domains. This is the first time it has happened (for xyz). It will happen again and again as other large companies chose new domains for launching new projects, and that high profile use would build awareness and drive new demand.

CentralNIC is about more just than xyz

As well as xyz, CentralNIC is the partner for many new domains - for example top twenty domains .online, .website, .space and .site, as well as specialist domains like .tickets, and .fans – contributing to the company currently being ranked in the top-two of wholesale sellers of the new domains.

CentralNic acts as the key technical intermediary. It is the exclusive middleman between entrepreneurial investors – those that secured the rights to the new domains - and customer facing internet companies like GoDaddy that sell them to web site owners.

Once you set aside the computer science and the jargon of the internet, the business is a really quite simple.

The company’s platform is the technical ‘back-end’. It creates and maintains the list of web site addresses on the particular domain, and it allows the web browser software to find those web sites.

This is a well-established and standardised process. It has essentially been in the same since the early days of the World Wide Web.

While .xyz, .website and the other “big sellers” are suitable for any web site (like .com before them), the majority of the new domains represent a new phase of compartmentalisation of internet addresses.

Addresses ending with .tickets and .fans for example have been set up with specific purposes and target audiences in mind – basically to resonate specifically with a certain type of audience or purpose. This new ‘usefulness’ has already been recognised by major brands like Manchester United, Formula One and eBay (to name just a few).

In the same way, other new domains from CentalNic such as .bar, .press or .college have clearly defined types of customers in mind.

Xyz seen as ‘truly generic

Xyz is more open. Indeed, Crawford describes it as 'truly generic'.

Rather than focusing on premium yet fairly narrow markets, the plan has been to offer a new lower cost mass market domain that could rival the ubiquitous .com domain.

"Xyz’s flexibility and its usability means it can be used for anything," Crawford explains.

"It doesn’t actually contain any information about what kind of web site it represents, all it does tells you is this is an address for a web site, in the same way that .com does.

"You could say it is the same business model as .com, and that’s been the most successful business model in the history of the internet to date. It is as flexible as possible, and it is reasonably priced."

Price and availability are the key selling points for xyz, Crawford says, and in comparison to .com they represent a potentially significant opportunity.

Three decades worth of .com domains - about 120 million - already exist, and are registered either to existing web sites or stockpiled into speculative portfolios of domain investors.

A cheaper alternative for new business

As many start-ups will likely have found to their cost, it can be challenging to secure the right web site address for new businesses or projects.

"It is a very common experience that when someone comes up with a project and they try to get the .com domain it is either not available, because it is already in use or a domain investor has already bought it and is charging a very large amount of money.

"Xyz is a solution to that problem.

"There are still over one hundred million of domain names available under .xyz that aren’t easily or affordably available on .com. That’s potentially over 100mln satisfied .xyz customers. Clearly, that’s a good thing for us."

The Verisign comparison

What happened with .com is central to the investment case for CentralNic, and this potential becomes clear with just a cursory comparison with Verisign (the Nasdaq quoted operator of .com and .net).

Verisign, worth nearly US$8bn, ended 2014 with around 130mln .com and .net domain names in its ‘name-base’ and it generated some $600mln of cash flow, from US$890mln of revenue. Around 0.6mln new .coms were added – it is very much a recurring revenue business, with web site owners paying each year to retain their names.

So, if Crawford is right and .xyz is the new .com then the potential for very significant value creation appears obvious.

Nevertheless, given today’s market value of around £50mln, it still remains very early days before CentralNIC and Verisign can be described as peers.

Verisign does, however, represent the key for Crawford, CentralNic and xyz domain rights owner Daniel Negari.

"I would honestly say that the .xyz team – including us – we are looking at .com (owned and operated by Verisign, a Nasdaq quoted company worth around $8bn) and seeing what is an amazing business,” Crawford said.

"Verisign has made billions selling .com domains. So, from our point of view, it is not a fantasy to think that selling domains can be a billion dollar business. We know it can be a reality. We can see it right in front of us.

"So, together we’re hugely ambitious. We’re doing the hard work and we’re making the investments."

"It is why, we’re never going to be satisfied just selling a few thousand xyz domains when we know it is possible to sell 100mln – because someone else is already doing it."

Crawford added: “We’re already very close to xyz.com (Negari’s company that owns the xyz rights) and we’ve been working with Daniel Negari for years.

“I wouldn’t rule out anything in the future in regards to us becoming closer in the different ways that companies can.

“Clearly, together as a team, we’ve been more successful than any other new domain company and we’ve got .xyz going as the number one new domain globally. On both sides we think we make a great team and we’re already committed to doing a lot more together.”

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Tue, 16 Feb 2016 07:47:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/110842/centralnic-winning-the-online-land-grab-battle-110842.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic races past another domain name milestone ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/122516/centralnic-races-past-another-domain-name-milestone-122516.html CentralNic (LON:CNIC) has become the first wholesaler to rack up the sale of 3mln web site names using the new top level domains (TLDs).

The organisation that oversees the infrastructure of the internet, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), has in recent years been widening the number of generic TLDs – the part of a web address after the final dot – beyond old favourites such as .com, .net and .biz, and this has provided a great commercial opportunity for “back-end” domain registry service providers such as CentralNic.

According to the domain industry statistics web site ntldstats.com, having previously been the first company globally to achieve two million new TLD registrations in November 2015, the company has breezed past another milestone, logging another million registrations in the last three months or so.

The news cements CentralNic's position as top gun in the new gTLDs battle, with 3,043,821 domains registered using CentralNic's registry platform, as at 15 February, representing 23.94% of all new gTLDs registered worldwide.

CentralNic hailed the popularity of .site, which has become the 19th most subscribed new gTLD, which means CentralNic is now the exclusive wholesaler for five of the top 20 gTLDs, namely .xyz, .online, .website, .space and .site, out of the 903 new gTLDs launched to date.

The .xyz domain continues to rank as the most subscribed new gTLD, with registrations doubling since August 2015, when Google announced that it had selected https://abc.xyz/ as the official web address for its new parent company, Alphabet.

CentralNic's chief executive officer Ben Crawford was understandably chuffed with the rapid take-up of new TLDs.

“It took only three months since November for CentralNic to grow its total number of new TLD registrations by another 50% to three million, reflecting both the exponential demand for new TLDs and the superior quality of the company's domain name portfolio,” he said.

“CentralNic will continue to promote its existing new gTLD domain names, as well as actively accepting new quality domain names onto our platform, to retain our position as a global leader in new top level domains."

Shares in CentralNic has risen by more than a quarter in the last year in a market that has fallen by one sixth.

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Mon, 15 Feb 2016 03:04:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/122516/centralnic-races-past-another-domain-name-milestone-122516.html
<![CDATA[News - CentralNic founder Robert Pooke to retire ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/122196/centralnic-founder-robert-pooke-to-retire-122196.html CentralNic (LON:CNIC) has told investors that executive director Robert Pooke intends to retire with immediate effect.

Pooke is a founder of the CentralNic business and as someone who has been involved in the internet domain business since the late nineties he has been an influential member of the management team, the company highlighted.

He will continue to be involved in the company for the time being as a consultant, it added.

Separately, CentralNic also announced that Desleigh Jameson, formerly chief executive of recently acquired Instra Group, has been appointed head of CentralNic’s worldwide retail operations.

Ben Crawford, CentralNic chief executive, said: "Robert Pooke was instrumental in establishing a culture focussed on innovation and profitability in CentralNic, a culture which has been instrumental in our recent growth to become a leading global player in the domain name industry.

“On behalf of my board colleagues, I would like to thank Robert and to wish him every success for the future."

"I would also like to welcome Desleigh Jameson to the board. Desleigh's management skills and experience, in driving growth in domain name retailing and online brand protection, will be very valuable to delivering CentralNic's growth strategy.”

Jameson, meanwhile, added: "I'm delighted to be working with such an engaged board. 

“With the synergies and advantageous market positions brought about by the acquisition of the Instra Group, it's an exciting time to be a part of CentralNic's growth strategy."

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Fri, 05 Feb 2016 08:03:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/122196/centralnic-founder-robert-pooke-to-retire-122196.html