Morning folks.

Today we have:

Non-Standard Finance (LON:NSF) / Provident Financial (LON:PFG) - the Competition and Markets Authority has started investigating the proposed merger.


  • Share price: 53.6p (-31%)
  • No. of shares: 217 million
  • Market cap: £116 million

Strategic and trading update

Isn't it remarkable how things nearly always seems to go wrong with these Israeli tech companies?

You can see my historic coverage of this "performance marketing" business in the archives. I've always found XLM to be worth reviewing, and have been encouraged by its share buybacks. But I never pulled the trigger and put it in my own portfolio, because the category it's in is just so dangerous.

Strategic Update

  • more investment in its Publishing division (i.e. managing its own websites) going forward,
  • reduction in "non-core" Media activities, so there will be a "substantial reduction" in Media revenues.

XLM has never to my knowledge used the phrase "non-core" in relation to some of its Media actitivities, until today.

But it has previously reported the regulatory pressure on its Media revenues in various markets (e.g. bans on gambling advertising), and that its main focus is on growing its Publishing revenues instead. Media revenues collapsed by 31% in H1 2018, and contributed just 22% of total gross profit for the group.

So today's strategic update is not really a change in direction - it's more like an acceleration in the direction it was already going, if that makes sense.

XLM's investment in Publishing will create a "short-term impact on Group EBITDA", as the $7 million of internal spending will not be capitalised.

Current trading

  • 2019 has started in line with expectations
  • expected $11 - $13 million impairment in acquired intangible assets as their associated activities cease.
  • FY 2019 revenues expected down by c. $30 million and EBITDA…

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