Embargoed until 07.00: 28 January 2019
Minds + Machines Group Limited
("MMX" or the "Company")
Minds + Machines Group Limited (AIM: MMX), the top-level domain registry company, is pleased to provide the following trading update for the year ended 31 December 2018.
During 2018 domains under management grew by 37% to over 1.81 million (31 December 2017: 1.32 million) with revenue, on an unaudited basis, expected to be above $15.5 million for the full year (2017: $14.3 million). With unaudited costs of sales in line with 2017, and unaudited fixed overheads kept below $6.0 million, the Company expects operating EBITDA, before the impairments taken at the half year, to be marginally ahead of market expectations.
Significantly, the quality of revenue has continued to improve. Unaudited renewal revenue nearly doubled to $9.4 million in 2018 (2017: $4.8 million), helped by a $3.4 million H2 contribution from the ICM portfolio with organic renewal growth within the MMX portfolio of top-level domains (i.e. net of the ICM properties) increasing by nearly 20% for the year.
The quality of new billings (i.e. sales) has also continued to improve in the year with one-off brokered premium sales accounting for less than 15% of total sales (2017: 38%) and premium sales through the registrar channel remaining constant at around 12%. Importantly, this improvement has led to cash collections for the year on normal operations (i.e. net of private auctions/other income) increasing by 30% to $16.1 million (2017: $12.3 million) of which ICM H2 collections represented $3.3 million.
For the first time, the US also established itself as the leading sales region in the year with sales generated through the US team covering the North American and Japanese markets accounting for the majority (51%) of Group sales in the year, compared to 33% in 2017. By contrast, China and Europe represented 36% and 13% respectively in 2018 compared to 50% and 17% the previous year.
Cash and cash equivalents were $10.4 million (2017: $18.1 million, including $2.2 million of restricted cash) at the year-end as a result of the ICM acquisition. As at 25 January 2019, cash has improved to $11.4 million, helped by the resolution of the .cpa contention set, allowing the Company to begin the early repayment of the London & Capital loan facility with an initial payment of $700,000 being made in January 2019.
Toby Hall, CEO of MMX, commented:
"A strong Q4 of sales through the registrar channel is allowing management to deliver on its strategy of transforming MMX into a stable, growing, cash generative business built around organic growth, innovation and accretive acquisitions. Pleasingly, the significant momentum we created last year has continued into the early part of 2019 supported by the strategic acquisition of ICM which is delivering to plan."
The information communicated in this announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014.
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Minds + Machines Group Limited (LSE: MMX) is the owner of a world class portfolio of 32 ICANN approved top-level domains (gTLDs). The Company generates revenues through the registration and annual renewal of names by organisations and individuals within each of its top-level domains, sales being processed through the Group's network of global registrar and distribution partners.
The MMX portfolio is currently focused around generic names (e.g. .work, .vip), consumer interest (e.g. .fashion, .wedding), lifestyle (e.g. .fit, .surf, .yoga), professional occupations (e.g. .law), and geographic domains (e.g. .london, .boston, .miami, .bayern). In 2018, the Company completed its first acquisition, the ICM portfolio, and recently launched its first innovation based project, .luxe, which combines the strengths of the World Wide Web's naming system with that of blockchain. For more information on MMX and its rapidly growing renewal base, please visit www.mmx.co
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