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News from 2017

Trading and Strategic Update

Source: CentralNic, March 7, 2017

CentralNic Group PLC (AIM: CNIC), the internet platform business which derives revenues from the global sale of domain names and associated services, provides the following Trading and Strategic Update. The 2016 trading performance in this statement is based on unaudited initial management estimates.

2016 Trading Update

In 2016 the Company continued to grow while increasing recurring revenues:

  • Group Revenue increased by more than 110% to £22.1 million (2015: £10.4 million)
  • Recurring/subscription revenues1 increased to circa 80% of overall revenues (2015: 67%)
  • Adjusted EBITDA2 increased by over 65% to £5.5 million (2015: £3.3 million)
  • Net Cash at the end of the year was £7.3 million

1 Recurring / subscription revenues include revenues from domain registration, domain renewals and other recurring revenues.

2 Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation, acquisition and non-recurring fees and non-cash charges.

2017 Current Trading

The Board is confident in meeting market expectations for the 2017 year:

  • Trading at this early stage of the year is in line with plan, and business development initiatives are advancing
  • The Group has good exposure to the new TLDs – the fastest-growing category of domain names. The total number of domains using new TLDs rose from 11 million at the beginning of 2016 to over 27 million by the beginning of 2017. CentralNic is the number one new TLD service provider with market share by volume currently around 32% (2015: 20%)
  • Increased renewal revenues from new TLDs are expected in 2017, as the base of domains due to renew or expire has increased to almost 10 million domains in the wholesale business (2016: 3.3 million) and circa 1.3 million in the retail business (2016: 0.7 million)
  • The Chinese market accounts for circa 60% of all new Top-Level Domain sales globally. CentralNic is the leading non-domestic wholesale provider of new TLDs into China, and China’s Ministry for Industry and Information Technology recently accredited .xyz, .site, .ink and .design, all wholesaled exclusively by CentralNic. The accreditation permits use of domains with these endings for websites and email addresses in China.
  • New TLD launches in 2017 include .fun, .realty, .observer, and .art. In addition to the .fun and .art contract wins last year, there is a further pipeline of new TLDs in the process of contracting to migrate to the CentralNic platform
  • Initial renewal rates for .xyz and other new TLDs launched over the last 2 years are encouraging
  • The Company has appointed the former Commercial Operations Director and former Marketing Director of Group NBT (Netnames) to lead revenue growth initiatives.

Strategy

CentralNic has proven its ability to grow both revenues and Adjusted EBITDA from £3.1m and £1.0m respectively in 2013 to £22.1m and £5.5m in 2016, achieving circa 80% recurring / subscription revenues in 2016. CentralNic’s strategy has focussed on increasing its scale and scope of operations and on acquisitions, which along with premium domain sales have underpinned its growth in total revenues, Adjusted EBITDA and recurring revenues. The strategy includes:

  • Developing and operating scalable software platforms to serve global markets with domain names and related services
  • Identifying and exploiting relatively high growth areas of the domain industry, including taking a leading role in new Top-Level Domains, servicing country code domains and focussing on growth markets such as China
  • Winning and retaining well-resourced partners with complementary objectives
  • Executing acquisition transactions that meet clear strategic criteria including being earnings accretive in the short term with a strong recurring revenues base.

Vision

  • CentralNic’s objective is join the ranks of world leaders in its industry (which include a number of multi-billion-dollar companies) as the new TLDs it distributes expand to challenge the incumbent domain name endings, and China and other emerging markets grow to rival the size of the North American and European markets.
  • CentralNic strives to achieve this goal through continuing to disrupt existing markets and by identifying and exploiting growth markets around the world.

Moreover there is consolidation in the domain services industry which present step-change acquisition opportunities for CentralNic to enter new markets and broaden its service offerings.

CentralNic CEO Ben Crawford said:

“Following the rapid scaling up of our operations in 2016, we have made a pleasing start to 2017. We have additional sales resources, new licences to help grow our business in China, new TLDs launching and opportunities to sell software licenses and enterprise services.

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.”

For further information:

CentralNic Group PLC

Ben Crawford, Chief Executive Officer
Andy Churley, Group Marketing Director

+44 (0) 203 388 0600
+44 (0) 203 388 0600

Zeus Capital Limited – NOMAD and Joint Broker

Nick Cowles / Jamie Peel
John Goold / Alex Davies

+44 (0) 161 831 1512
+44 (0) 207 533 7716

Peel Hunt LLP – Joint Broker

Richard Kauffer / Euan Brown
Alastair Rae

+44 (0) 207 418 8900

Abchurch Communications Corporate & Financial PR Advisers to CentralNic

Julian Bosdet / Tim Thompson / Rebecca Clube
[email protected]

+44 (0) 207 398 7700
www.abchurch-group.com

About CentralNic Group PLC

CentralNic (LSE: CNIC) is a London-based AIM-listed company. It earns revenues from the worldwide sales of internet domain names using its proprietary technology platform. It sells these domain names on an annual subscription basis. Customers pay for domain names upfront, making CentralNic a cash-generative business with annuity revenue streams.

CentralNic comprises three business lines within the domain name industry. It operates a global wholesale network, supplying domain names to over 1,500 vendors in 77 countries. CentralNic is the exclusive wholesaler for over 30 new Top-Level Domain extensions (the new alternatives to .com and .net). These include .xyz, .site, .online, .website, .space, and .tech. These extensions rank among the top twenty five most subscribed new Top-Level Domains. One in three of all domains registered under new TLDs globally uses the CentralNic platform. This positions CentralNic as the leading global supplier with more than eight million of these domains under management.

CentralNic is also a leading global domain name retailer, with retail websites including internetbs.net, buydomains.london and domain.luxury. After acquiring Instra Group, CentralNic Group now includes instra.com and a number of other leading retail websites. Through its enterprise programme, CentralNic supplies domain names (including high-value premium domain names), software and services directly to large companies and governments.

For more information please visit: www.centralnicgroup.com