CentralNic Group — Focusing on shareholder returns

Team Internet Group (AIM: TIG)

Last close As at 22/05/2024

GBP1.80

−1.60 (−0.88%)

Market capitalisation

GBP468m

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Research: TMT

CentralNic Group — Focusing on shareholder returns

CentralNic’s H123 trading update shows that revenue, EBITDA and margins have continued to grow in the year, giving us confidence in our forecasts, which we leave unchanged. On 3 July, management announced that it was increasing its FY23 share buyback programme up to £34m, a £30m uplift from when it was first announced in May, highlighting management’s commitment to maximising shareholder returns. With its FY22 dividend now paid and the company focusing more on organic growth, management remains aligned to its waterfall model for free cash flow allocation, which we analysed in our Q123 update.

Max Hayes

Written by

Max Hayes

Associate Analyst

CentralNic Group_resized

TMT

CentralNic Group

Focusing on shareholder returns

H123 trading update

Software & computer services

24 July 2023

Price

127p

Market cap

£358m

Net debt (US$m) at 30 June 2023

68

Shares in issue

280.7m

Free float

47.5%

Code

CNIC

Primary exchange

AIM

Secondary exchange

N/A

Share price performance

Business description

CentralNic Group is a global internet company that derives recurring revenue from privacy-safe, AI-based customer journeys that help online consumers make informed choices, as well as from the distribution of domain names.

Analysts

Max Hayes

+44 (0)20 3077 5700

Katherine Thompson

+44 (0)20 3077 5700

CentralNic Group is a research client of Edison Investment Research Limited

CentralNic’s H123 trading update shows that revenue, EBITDA and margins have continued to grow in the year, giving us confidence in our forecasts, which we leave unchanged. On 3 July, management announced that it was increasing its FY23 share buyback programme up to £34m, a £30m uplift from when it was first announced in May, highlighting management’s commitment to maximising shareholder returns. With its FY22 dividend now paid and the company focusing more on organic growth, management remains aligned to its waterfall model for free cash flow allocation, which we analysed in our Q123 update.

Year end

Revenue (US$m)

Adjusted EBITDA*

(US$m)

PBT*
(US$m)

Diluted EPS*
(c)

EV/EBITDA
(x)

P/E
(x)

12/21

410.5

46.3

31.9

10.9

11.4

15.0

12/22

728.2

86.0

64.3

21.4

6.1

7.7

12/23e

833.7

94.4

80.7

20.1

5.6

8.2

12/24e

909.6

103.0

89.3

22.5

5.1

7.3

Note: *Excludes impact of share-based payments, foreign exchange charges and non-core operating costs.

CentralNic reported gross revenue of US$396m (+18% y-o-y), net revenue of US$91m (+11% y-o-y) and EBITDA of US$44m (+15% y-o-y, 48.4% EBITDA/net revenue margin) in its H123 trading update. On a quarterly basis, the group expanded EBITDA to net revenue to over 50% in Q2 from 47% in Q1, driven by operating leverage and ahead of our full year forecast of 49.5% (vs 48.4% in FY22).

The group’s balance sheet remains robust with cash of US$83m at the half year and net debt of US$68m (0.72x FY23e EBITDA), despite incurring financing cash outflows of US$13.7m for share repurchases and US$3.5m relating to its FY22 dividend, as well as US$15.2m for deferred contingent consideration.

Adjusted cash conversion, which typically exceeds 100%, fell to 89% in the period, which we believe was driven by one-off costs. Management expects this to normalise to over 100% in H2.

On 3 July, the company announced that it was increasing its FY23 share buyback programme up to £34m (or a maximum of 28.866m shares), a £30m uplift from when it was first announced on 15 May 2023. Despite the large increase in its share buyback programme, we believe CentralNic is still well-positioned to fulfil its capital allocation plans (shown in our Q123 update) given the cash-generative nature of the business and its robust balance sheet.

General disclaimer and copyright

This report has been commissioned by CentralNic Group and prepared and issued by Edison, in consideration of a fee payable by CentralNic Group. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £60,000 pa for the production and broad dissemination of a detailed note (Outlook) following by regular (typically quarterly) update notes. Fees are paid upfront in cash without recourse. Edison may seek additional fees for the provision of roadshows and related IR services for the client but does not get remunerated for any investment banking services. We never take payment in stock, options or warrants for any of our services.

Accuracy of content: All information used in the publication of this report has been compiled from publicly available sources that are believed to be reliable, however we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report and have not sought for this information to be independently verified. Opinions contained in this report represent those of the research department of Edison at the time of publication. Forward-looking information or statements in this report contain information that is based on assumptions, forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable, and therefore involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of their subject matter to be materially different from current expectations.

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New Zealand

The research in this document is intended for New Zealand resident professional financial advisers or brokers (for use in their roles as financial advisers or brokers) and habitual investors who are “wholesale clients” for the purpose of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) (as described in sections 5(c) (1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FAA). This is not a solicitation or inducement to buy, sell, subscribe, or underwrite any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. For the purpose of the FAA, the content of this report is of a general nature, is intended as a source of general information only and is not intended to constitute a recommendation or opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing (including refraining from acquiring or disposing) of securities. The distribution of this document is not a “personalised service” and, to the extent that it contains any financial advice, is intended only as a “class service” provided by Edison within the meaning of the FAA (i.e. without taking into account the particular financial situation or goals of any person). As such, it should not be relied upon in making an investment decision.

United Kingdom

This document is prepared and provided by Edison for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation for investment in any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. A marketing communication under FCA Rules, this document has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

This Communication is being distributed in the United Kingdom and is directed only at (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments, i.e. investment professionals within the meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "FPO") (ii) high net-worth companies, unincorporated associations or other bodies within the meaning of Article 49 of the FPO and (iii) persons to whom it is otherwise lawful to distribute it. The investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to such persons. It is not intended that this document be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and in any event and under no circumstances should persons of any other description rely on or act upon the contents of this document.

This Communication is being supplied to you solely for your information and may not be reproduced by, further distributed to or published in whole or in part by, any other person.

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General disclaimer and copyright

This report has been commissioned by CentralNic Group and prepared and issued by Edison, in consideration of a fee payable by CentralNic Group. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £60,000 pa for the production and broad dissemination of a detailed note (Outlook) following by regular (typically quarterly) update notes. Fees are paid upfront in cash without recourse. Edison may seek additional fees for the provision of roadshows and related IR services for the client but does not get remunerated for any investment banking services. We never take payment in stock, options or warrants for any of our services.

Accuracy of content: All information used in the publication of this report has been compiled from publicly available sources that are believed to be reliable, however we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report and have not sought for this information to be independently verified. Opinions contained in this report represent those of the research department of Edison at the time of publication. Forward-looking information or statements in this report contain information that is based on assumptions, forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable, and therefore involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of their subject matter to be materially different from current expectations.

Exclusion of Liability: To the fullest extent allowed by law, Edison shall not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential losses, loss of profits, damages, costs or expenses incurred or suffered by you arising out or in connection with the access to, use of or reliance on any information contained on this note.

No personalised advice: The information that we provide should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as, personalised advice. Also, the information provided by us should not be construed by any subscriber or prospective subscriber as Edison’s solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect, any transaction in a security. The securities described in the report may not be eligible for sale in all jurisdictions or to certain categories of investors.

Investment in securities mentioned: Edison has a restrictive policy relating to personal dealing and conflicts of interest. Edison Group does not conduct any investment business and, accordingly, does not itself hold any positions in the securities mentioned in this report. However, the respective directors, officers, employees and contractors of Edison may have a position in any or related securities mentioned in this report, subject to Edison's policies on personal dealing and conflicts of interest.

Copyright: Copyright 2023 Edison Investment Research Limited (Edison).

Australia

Edison Investment Research Pty Ltd (Edison AU) is the Australian subsidiary of Edison. Edison AU is a Corporate Authorised Representative (1252501) of Crown Wealth Group Pty Ltd who holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (Number: 494274). This research is issued in Australia by Edison AU and any access to it, is intended only for "wholesale clients" within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of Australia. Any advice given by Edison AU is general advice only and does not take into account your personal circumstances, needs or objectives. You should, before acting on this advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If our advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product you should read any relevant Product Disclosure Statement or like instrument.

New Zealand

The research in this document is intended for New Zealand resident professional financial advisers or brokers (for use in their roles as financial advisers or brokers) and habitual investors who are “wholesale clients” for the purpose of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) (as described in sections 5(c) (1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FAA). This is not a solicitation or inducement to buy, sell, subscribe, or underwrite any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. For the purpose of the FAA, the content of this report is of a general nature, is intended as a source of general information only and is not intended to constitute a recommendation or opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing (including refraining from acquiring or disposing) of securities. The distribution of this document is not a “personalised service” and, to the extent that it contains any financial advice, is intended only as a “class service” provided by Edison within the meaning of the FAA (i.e. without taking into account the particular financial situation or goals of any person). As such, it should not be relied upon in making an investment decision.

United Kingdom

This document is prepared and provided by Edison for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation for investment in any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. A marketing communication under FCA Rules, this document has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

This Communication is being distributed in the United Kingdom and is directed only at (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments, i.e. investment professionals within the meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "FPO") (ii) high net-worth companies, unincorporated associations or other bodies within the meaning of Article 49 of the FPO and (iii) persons to whom it is otherwise lawful to distribute it. The investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to such persons. It is not intended that this document be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and in any event and under no circumstances should persons of any other description rely on or act upon the contents of this document.

This Communication is being supplied to you solely for your information and may not be reproduced by, further distributed to or published in whole or in part by, any other person.

United States

Edison relies upon the "publishers' exclusion" from the definition of investment adviser under Section 202(a)(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and corresponding state securities laws. This report is a bona fide publication of general and regular circulation offering impersonal investment-related advice, not tailored to a specific investment portfolio or the needs of current and/or prospective subscribers. As such, Edison does not offer or provide personal advice and the research provided is for informational purposes only. No mention of a particular security in this report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell or hold that or any security, or that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

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