wallstreet:online AG: Rapid Smartbroker growth ensures another record year in 2021 - 25% growth in revenues planned for 2022

DGAP-News: wallstreet:online AG / Key word(s): Annual Report/Development of Sales
07.03.2022 / 13:19
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

wallstreet:online AG: Rapid Smartbroker growth ensures another record year in 2021 - 25% growth in revenues planned for 2022


- Consolidated revenues increased by 82% to €51.4 million

- EBITDA amounted to €17.5 million; EBITDA after customer acquisition costs €4.4 million

- 2022 Guidance: Revenues between €62 and €67 million (+25% versus 2021); EBITDA between €16 and €18 million

- During the first two months of 2022 already more than 13,000 new securities accounts were opened


Berlin, 7 March 2022

wallstreet:online AG (ISIN DE000A2GS609, FSE:WSO1, the "Company" or the "Group"), Germany's largest neo broker by assets under custody and by far the largest publisher-independent financial portal operator in German-speaking countries, has today announced its preliminary financials for fiscal 2021. The Group revenue reached a new record with €51.4 million, corresponding to a 82% plus versus prior year. The adjusted EBITDA before customer acquisition costs for the Smartbroker rose by 45% to €17.5 million, in line with the original guidance. The net liquidity of the Group amounted to around €20 million at the end of 2021.

The figures presented today clearly underscore that the investments into the Smartbroker customer base are paying off: the Company was able to more than double the number of opened securities accounts and the assets under custody during the past year. As at 31 December 2021, the Company managed around 246,000 securities accounts, of which 200,000 through Smartbroker. Consequently, the Group's neo broker has grown by approx. 120,000 securities accounts versus prior year, a plus of 140%.

Largest neo broker operator in Germany by assets under custody

The Group's assets under custody rose by 105% to more than €8.8 billion. This results in an average value per securities account of around €36,000 - significantly above known averages for conventional neo brokers. In terms of assets under custody, the wallstreet:online group has become the largest neo broker operator in Germany in a very short period of time.

At the same time, revenues in the media unit also increased, enabling the high level of investment into the growth driver that is the Group's transaction business.

Guidance for fiscal 2022

Today, the Executive Board announced guidance for the full year 2022 for the first time: the Company anticipates consolidated revenues of between €62 and €67 million; this corresponds to a plus of around 25% versus prior year. The adjusted EBITDA after customer acquisition costs is expected to amount to €10 to €12 million, with customer acquisition costs expected to be around €6 million. The decline in customer acquisition cost versus 2021 reflects the strategic decision to first focus all efforts on the implementation of the own "Smartbroker Cloud Platform" and redouble customer acquisition activities after the launch of the new "Smartbroker 2.0". The launch is currently planned for the second half of 2022.

Smartbroker 2.0 - the beginning of a new era for wallstreet:online

The launch of the Smartbroker Cloud Platform includes various extensions and improvements for the Group's Transaction segment. Smartbroker will offer its customers an app and a completely redesigned user experience for the desktop application. The opening of the securities account will be insourced and placed into the hands of the Company's own customer service teams made up of trained experts. This will result in a significant simplification and acceleration of the process - up to the account opening within minutes, immediate funding, and immediately available investment opportunities. Furthermore, the platform will offer new products such as a selection of cryptocurrencies. From the Company's perspective, the relaunch means potential for tapping into new customer groups, increasing the use of its own stock market portals and social media channels to address new customers, and developing a new content and data platform which enables personalised, cross-channel and cross-device customer interactions.

Important growth drivers are emerging that will have a sustained positive impact on the company's business model. The Berlin-based company expects a significant growth spurt by addressing new target groups and the associated reduction in customer acquisition costs. The broadening of digital trading channels including a mobile app is expected to contribute to more transactions per securities account, with lower costs per execution on the part of the Company. Overall, this results in a clear optimisation of the business model. The higher degree of insourcing generates economies of scale in cost, thus leading to incremental cash flows.

Significant growth in new customers anticipated for 2023

The current year is dedicated to the Smartbroker relaunch. The Company is operating the current brokerage platforms and at the same time is investing in the launch and roll-out of Smartbroker 2.0. This also entails a one-off, temporary slowdown in new customer acquisitions. In 2022, more than 55,000 new customers are to be gained for the brokerage segment. In January and February, more than 13,000 new securities accounts were already opened, representing 24% of the annual plan. This illustrates the strong potential of further organic growth, which is to be fully utilised again immediately after the launch of Smartbroker 2.0. The outlook for 2023 and thereafter envisages an increase in new customer acquisition that is significantly above the targeted level of 2022. This is based on the sustained positive market response to the Smartbroker (winner of the "Euro" bank test in the category Brokerage[1]) and the firm conviction that the relaunch of the Smartbroker on the basis of its own Smartbroker Cloud Platform will enable it to continue on its path of further significant market share gains.

Important product and business initiatives are also planned for the media segment in order to continue the profitable growth, including the extension of the smartphone apps by wallstreet-online.de and ariva.de as well as the establishment of an own investment newsletter editorial desk.

Matthias Hach, CEO of wallstreet:online AG and wallstreet:online capital AG on the financials presented today: "2021 was another record year for us and I am very proud that we were able to achieve all the targets we set ourselves even in a slowing market phase. This year we are facing a step change: in the second half of the year, we will introduce Smartbroker 2.0, simultaneously launching a smartphone app and entering cryptocurrency trading. With this, we are not only taking the next step, but creating the prerequisites to a further integration with our financial portals, which we will of course continue to expand. During the coming weeks, we will also be moving to a new office and I am very much looking forward to having all teams of wallstreet:online AG and wallstreet:online capital AG under one roof at the Berlin location for the first time."


About the wallstreet:online Group:

The wallstreet:online Group operates the Smartbroker - a multiple award-winning online broker, which is the only provider in Germany to combine the extensive product range of traditional brokers with the extremely favourable conditions of neo-brokers. At the same time, the Group operates four high-reach stock market portals (wallstreet-online.de, boersenNews.de, FinanzNachrichten.de and ARIVA.de). With several hundred million monthly page impressions, the Group is the by far largest publisher-independent financial portal operator in German-speaking countries and the largest finance community.


Press contact:

Felix Rentzsch
Head of Communications
Phone: +49 (0)176 4165 0721
Email: f.rentzsch@wallstreet-online.de

Investor Relations contact:

Sabrina Kassmannhuber
Investor Relations Manager
Phone: +49 (0)30 20 456 500
Email: ir@wallstreet-online.de

[1] e.g., ranked first in the "Brokerage" category of the review of retail finance providers by "Euro" magazine, issue 5/21, page 108ff.; most favorable provider in all model portfolios in the comparison of "Finanztest", issue 12/2021, page 24ff.

07.03.2022 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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