Boulogne-Billancourt, 12th February 2009
MEETIC (FR 0004063097 – MEET), the European leader in online dating, today announces its consolidated revenue for its financial year to 31st December 2008.
2008 annual revenue totalled 133.7 million euros, up +17.5% on the previous year and up +20.1% on a constant forex basis due to the negative evolution of the pound sterling compared to the euro, as DatingDirect is billed in the British currency.
Organic growth, excluding any acquisition since MEETIC was founded, was 13.6%.
Over FY 2008, 95.6% of activity was recorded in Europe and 4.4% in the rest of the world, versus 94.1% and 5.9% respectively in 2007.
Revenue from the Internet, which incorporates the Group’s Internet services with a subscriber model, totalled 127.7 million euros, up +19% on 2007 and up +21.8% on a constant forex basis.
The MEETIC group had 696,472 subscribers at 31st December 2008, an increase of 119,217 new subscribers over the year.
Over 2008, the Group ended up agreeing to a further investment effort of approximately 14 million euros (including costs associated with the creation of Editorial & Traffic activities), towards the top of the 10 to 15 million euro overinvestment bracket announced at the start of 2008.
The Group feels that it met its targets in terms of brand awareness during the third quarter, notably in the United Kingdom and Germany, and the launch of the Matchmaking segment, thanks to the additional marketing investments spent over the first nine months of the year. Given that these targets have been met and given the current economic situation, from November the Group returned to more standard marketing investment levels, almost exclusively online, whilst also announcing the cancellation of advertising overinvestment for 2009.
The return to more standard marketing investments from November and the traditional seasonal effect of the fourth quarter explain the evolution of the Group’s subscriber numbers at the end of the year.
During the second half, the Group’s Internet activity was marked by the successful launch of its Matchmaking offer, on 1st July 2008 in France, and its deployment across its main European markets.
MEETIC’s Matchmaking offer is commercialised under the brand name MeeticAffinity, which has significantly higher tariffs than the Group’s Dating activity. Matchmaking is thus a key activity in the Group’s client-segmentation strategy, with the Company intent on pursuing its aim of increasing the value of its subscriber base, notably via this segmentation
Monthly ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) from purely Dating activities (excluding Matchmaking) was €17.07 for 2008, versus €17.44 for the first half of 2008 and €17.60 for 2007 as a whole. ARPU including the Group’s Matchmaking activity, which will henceforth be the ARPU figure used, was €17.66 for the second half of 2008, versus €16.63 euros for Dating alone.
Reflecting the ongoing high loyalty level of subscribers, the monthly churn for the Group’s Dating activity was 14.5% over the second half of 2008, versus 13.7% over the first half of the year. The annual churn was thus 14.1% in 2008, an improvement of over one percentage point compared to the previous year’s annual churn of 15.3%.
The monthly churn including Matchmaking, which will again henceforth be the figure used, was 14.3% over the second half of 2008, slightly lower than the figure for Dating alone: longer subscription periods than for Meetic and the recent launch of MeeticAffinity contributed to the fall in the global churn figure.
Henceforth, the Group will therefore publish global subscriber indicators regarding its Internet revenue, including both the Dating and the Matchmaking segments.
The Group’s Mobile revenue consists purely of the revenue recorded by Meetic Mobile in Europe. Meetic Mobile’s activity continued to grow, whilst the activity recorded in China, as expected, generated no revenue over the fourth quarter. As announced on 5th January 2009, MEETIC has decided to entirely divest its Chinese activities.
Revenue from advertising and events remained stable at €2.2 million.Marc Simoncini, CEO and founder of MEETIC, says: “2008 was a very important year in terms of achievements and strategic decisions. Annual indicators, all of them well orientated, today confirm that our substantial investment efforts have borne fruit and that we have a solid subscriber base, a recurrent revenue model and substantial growth potential, notably on the Matchmaking market. In accordance with our strategy, MEETIC will continue its development in 2009 by using its expertise, its unique market knowledge and its achievements to consolidate its proven European leadership in Dating and to pursue its buoyant growth on the Matchmaking segment.”