Catena Media shifting to alternative sports products

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Stockholm-listed industry publisher Catena Media is looking to provide new choices to a sports starved world, as they announced that they are providing ‘alternative revenue streams’ during the crisis. This announcement came in a trading update by the company.

While reporting increases in revenue of 5.7% over the previous year and an adjusted EBITDA increase of 19.9%, Catena also explained that they were concerned that the vast majority of sports leagues and major events were postponed or canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response, they announced that they will be “working closely with key operators to promote sports events that are still running. To mitigate the shortfall in Sports revenue, the focus is to increase the Casino business by converting traffic from a number of sports-related sites into Casino revenue and holding back on low-margin media spend.”

Revenues are already down by 35% through the first two months of this year as compared to January and February 2019. While concerned about the impact the virus is having on business, they also made it clear that they expect the COVID-19 outbreak “will have no foreseeable negative long-term effects.” The company added that they expect that the postponement of sporting events “may contribute with a positive effect in the future when they are rescheduled.”

CEO Per Hellberg added:

“Several sports events have been canceled or postponed, and it is uncertain for how long this will last, but we are holding back on costs and finding alternative revenue streams for the Sport segment. Provided that the sports events start up after the summer break, our target remains unchanged, to reach double-digit profit growth in 2020.”

The virus outbreak would have soured the positive attitude of many business leaders, but not Hellberg. He seemed defiant in the release, commenting, “The world is facing an unusual and challenging situation due to COVID-19. Catena Media’s largest business segment, Casino, represented 73% of EBITDA during January and February, is performing well and shows a positive development under the current circumstances.”

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