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CentralNic “well positioned” for next stage of development

In a February trading update, the firm said it had delivered a “strong” performance in 2018 with revenues for the year expected to be around £42.5mln compared to £24.3mln the year before
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CentralNic operates its own proprietary internet domain registry engine

• CentralNic provides registry services for internet domains

• Distributes portfolio to network of 1,500 registrars such as GoDaddy

• Revenues doubled to £42.7mln in latest fiscal year

What CentralNic does

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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