NEW YORK – May 5, 2021 – Criteo S.A. (NASDAQ: CRTO), the global technology company powering the world’s marketers with trusted and impactful advertising, today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021 that exceeded the Company’s quarterly guidance.
First Quarter 2021 Financial Highlights:
The following table summarizes our consolidated financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020:
Megan Clarken, Chief Executive Officer of Criteo, said, “Our commitments to deliver measurable results for our customers, our growth investments and our consistent focus on execution and productivity enabled us to deliver strong top line and margin.”
Q1 2021 Operating Highlights
1 Revenue excluding Traffic Acquisition Costs, or Revenue ex-TAC, Revenue ex-TAC margin, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA at constant currency, Adjusted EBITDA margin, Adjusted diluted EPS, Free Cash Flow and growth at constant currency are not measures calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP.
2Constant currency measures exclude the impact of foreign currency fluctuations and is computed by applying the 2020 average exchange rates for the relevant period to 2021 figures.
3Same-client revenue or Revenue ex-TAC is the revenue or Revenue ex-TAC generated by clients that were live with us in a given quarter and still live with us the same quarter in the following year.
4Our client metric, which is a lagging indicator counting all clients that have been live over the preceding 12 months, in Q1 2021 reflected the annualized impact of client churn that peaked in Q2 2020 when COVID started to impact the global economy.
Revenue for Q1 2021 was $541 million and Revenue ex-TAC was $213 million. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $76 million, resulting in an adjusted diluted EPS of $0.67. At constant currency, Q1 2021 Revenue increased by 4% and Revenue ex-TAC increased by 0.5%. Excluding the estimated $18 million incremental impact of the pandemic, we estimate that Revenue ex-TAC increased about 9% in Q1 2021. Free Cash Flow was $64 million in Q1 2021, up 41% year-over-year. Free Cash Flow conversion was 84% of Adjusted EBITDA in Q1 2021, representing the highest quarterly level for the past 21 quarters. We had $566 million in cash and marketable securities on our balance sheet at the end of Q1 2021.
Sarah Glickman, Chief Financial Officer, said, “We are on track to achieve about 50% growth from our new solutions in 2021, and excited to deliver value to newly signed customers in Retail Media and for our newly launched Contextual advertising product.”
Revenue and Revenue ex-TAC
Revenue increased by 7% year-over-year in Q1 2021, or 4% at constant currency, to $541 million (Q1 2020: $503 million). Revenue ex-TAC in the quarter increased 4% year-over-year, or 0.5% at constant currency, to $213 million (Q1 2020: $206 million), after an approximately $18 million net negative impact from the COVID-19 disruption incremental to 2020, or approximately 9 points of year-over-over growth at constant currency. Good performance of retargeting, driven by our retail clients, stellar performance of Retail Media and continued growth of our Audience Targeting and Omnichannel solutions offset Q1 2021 COVID-19 pandemic impact, in particular on our travel clients. Revenue ex-TAC as a percentage of revenue, or Revenue ex-TAC margin, was 39% (Q1 2020: 41%).
Net Income and Adjusted Net Income
Net income increased 43% year-over-year in Q1 2021 to $23 million (Q1 2020: $16 million). Net income margin as a percentage of revenue was 4% (Q1 2020: 3%). In the quarter, we incurred $12 million in restructuring related and transformation costs. Net income available to shareholders of Criteo S.A. increased 45% year-over-year to $22 million, or $0.35 per share on a diluted basis (Q1 2020: $15 million, or $0.25 per share on a diluted basis).
Adjusted Net Income, or net income adjusted to eliminate the impact of equity awards compensation expense, amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets, restructuring related and transformation costs and the tax impact of these adjustments, increased 35% year-over-year to $43 million, or $0.67 per share on a diluted basis (Q1 2020: $32 million, or $0.52 per share on a diluted basis).
Adjusted EBITDA and Operating Expenses
Adjusted EBITDA increased 28% year-over-year, or 21% at constant currency, to $76 million (Q1 2020: $59 million), driven by the Revenue ex-TAC performance over the period and effective cost discipline balanced with investments in our growth areas. Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of Revenue ex-TAC, or Adjusted EBITDA margin, was 36% (Q1 2020: 29%).
Operating expenses decreased by 3% or $4 million, to $144 million (Q1 2020: $148 million), mostly driven by lower headcount-related expense and disciplined expense management across the Company. Operating expenses, excluding the impact of equity awards compensation expense, pension costs, restructuring related and transformation costs, and depreciation and amortization, which we refer to as Non-GAAP Operating Expenses, decreased 6% or $8 million, to $118 million (Q1 2020: $126 million), largely driven by lower headcount and effective cost discipline, after investing in the growth areas of the Company.
Cash Flow, Cash and Financial Liquidity Position
Cash flow from operating activities increased 36% year-over-year to $77 million (Q1 2020: $57 million).
Free Cash Flow, defined as cash flow from operating activities less acquisition of intangible assets, property, plant and equipment and change in accounts payable related to intangible assets, property, plant and equipment, increased 41% to $64 million (Q1 2020: $45 million), or 84% of Adjusted EBITDA (Q1 2020: 76%), driven by our Adjusted EBITDA performance over the period and positive working capital.
Cash and cash equivalents increased $32 million compared to December 31, 2020 to $520 million, after spending $5 million on share repurchases in the first quarter 2021.
As of March 31, 2021, the Company had total financial liquidity of approximately $1 billion, including its cash position, marketable securities, Revolving Credit Facility and treasury shares reserved for M&A.
The following forward-looking statements reflect Criteo’s expectations as of May 5, 2021.
Second quarter 2021 guidance:
Fiscal year 2021 guidance:
The above guidance for the second quarter and the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021 assumes the following exchange rates for the main currencies impacting our business: a U.S. dollar-euro rate of 0.847, a U.S. dollar-Japanese Yen rate of 108, a U.S. dollar-British pound rate of 0.746, a U.S. dollar-Korean Won rate of 1,150 and a U.S. dollar-Brazilian real rate of 5.70.
The above guidance assumes no acquisitions are completed during the second quarter ending June 30, 2021 and fiscal year ended December 31, 2021.
Reconciliation of Revenue ex-TAC and Adjusted EBITDA guidance to the closest corresponding U.S. GAAP measure is not available without unreasonable efforts on a forward-looking basis due to the high variability, complexity and low visibility with respect to the charges excluded from these non-GAAP measures; in particular, the measures and effects of equity awards compensation expense specific to equity compensation awards that are directly impacted by unpredictable fluctuations in our share price. The variability of the above charges could potentially have a significant impact on our future U.S. GAAP financial results.
Investor Day 2021
Criteo will hold a virtual investor day on Thursday, June 3rd, 2021. More details will be provided ahead of the event, which will be webcast live, on the Company’s Investor Relations website http://ir.criteo.com.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
This press release and its attachments include the following financial measures defined as non-GAAP financial measures by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”): Revenue ex-TAC, Revenue ex-TAC by Region, Revenue ex-TAC by Solution, Revenue ex-TAC margin, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA margin, Adjusted Net Income, Adjusted diluted EPS, Free Cash Flow and Non-GAAP Operating Expenses. These measures are not calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP.
Revenue ex-TAC is our revenue excluding Traffic Acquisition Costs (“TAC”) generated over the applicable measurement period and Revenue ex-TAC by Region reflects our Revenue ex-TAC by our geographies. Revenue ex-TAC, Revenue ex-TAC by Region, Revenue ex-TAC by Solution, and Revenue ex-TAC margin are key measures used by our management and board of directors to evaluate our operating performance, generate future operating plans and make strategic decisions regarding the allocation of capital. In particular, we believe that the elimination of TAC from revenue can provide a useful measure for period-to-period comparisons of our business and across our geographies.
Accordingly, we believe that Revenue ex-TAC, Revenue ex-TAC by Region, Revenue ex-TAC by Solution and Revenue ex-TAC margin provide useful information to investors and the market generally in understanding and evaluating our operating results in the same manner as our management and board of directors.
Adjusted EBITDA is our consolidated earnings before financial income (expense), income taxes, depreciation and amortization, adjusted to eliminate the impact of equity awards compensation expense, pension service costs and restructuring related and transformation costs.
Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin are key measures used by our management and board of directors to understand and evaluate our core operating performance and trends, to prepare and approve our annual budget and to develop short- and long-term operational plans. In particular, we believe that by eliminating equity awards compensation expense, pension service costs and restructuring related and transformation costs, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin can provide useful measures for period-to-period comparisons of our business. Accordingly, we believe that Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin provide useful information to investors and the market generally in understanding and evaluating our results of operations in the same manner as our management and board of directors.
Adjusted Net Income is our net income adjusted to eliminate the impact of equity awards compensation expense, amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets, restructuring related and transformation costs and the tax impact of these adjustments. Adjusted Net Income and Adjusted diluted EPS are key measures used by our management and board of directors to evaluate operating performance, generate future operating plans and make strategic decisions regarding the allocation of capital.
In particular, we believe that by eliminating equity awards compensation expense, amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets, restructuring related and transformation costs and the tax impact of these adjustments, Adjusted Net Income and Adjusted diluted EPS can provide useful measures for period-to-period comparisons of our business. Accordingly, we believe that Adjusted Net Income and Adjusted diluted EPS provide useful information to investors and the market generally in understanding and evaluating our results of operations in the same manner as our management and board of directors.
Free Cash Flow is defined as cash flow from operating activities less acquisition of intangible assets, property, plant and equipment and change in accounts payable related to intangible assets, property, plant and equipment. Free Cash Flow Conversion is defined as free cash flow divided by Adjusted EBITDA. Free Cash Flow and Free Cash Flow Conversion are key measures used by our management and board of directors to evaluate the Company’s ability to generate cash. Accordingly, we believe that Free Cash Flow and Free Cash Flow Conversion permit a more complete and comprehensive analysis of our available cash flows.
Non-GAAP Operating Expenses are our consolidated operating expenses adjusted to eliminate the impact of depreciation and amortization, equity awards compensation expense, pension service costs, and restructuring related and transformation costs. The Company uses Non-GAAP Operating Expenses to understand and compare operating results across accounting periods, for internal budgeting and forecasting purposes, for short-term and long-term operational plans, and to assess and measure our financial performance and the ability of our operations to generate cash. We believe Non-GAAP Operating Expenses reflects our ongoing operating expenses in a manner that allows for meaningful period-to-period comparisons and analysis of trends in our business. As a result, we believe that Non-GAAP Operating Expenses provides useful information to investors in understanding and evaluating our core operating performance and trends in the same manner as our management and in comparing financial results across periods. In addition, Non-GAAP Operating Expenses is a key component in calculating Adjusted EBITDA, which is one of the key measures the Company uses to provide its quarterly and annual business outlook to the investment community.
Please refer to the supplemental financial tables provided in the appendix of this press release for a reconciliation of Revenue ex-TAC to revenue, Revenue ex-TAC by Region to revenue by region, Revenue ex-TAC by Solution to revenue by solution, Adjusted EBITDA to net income, Adjusted Net Income to net income, Free Cash Flow to cash flow from operating activities, and Non-GAAP Operating Expenses to operating expenses, in each case, the most comparable U.S. GAAP measure. Our use of non-GAAP financial measures has limitations as an analytical tool, and you should not consider such non-GAAP measures in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our financial results as reported under U.S. GAAP. Some of these limitations are: 1) other companies, including companies in our industry which have similar business arrangements, may address the impact of TAC differently; and 2) other companies may report Revenue ex-TAC, Revenue ex-TAC by Region, Revenue ex-TAC by Solution, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted Net Income, Free Cash Flow, Non-GAAP Operating Expenses or similarly titled measures but calculate them differently or over different regions, which reduces their usefulness as comparative measures. Because of these and other limitations, you should consider these measures alongside our U.S. GAAP financial results, including revenue and net income.
Forward-Looking Statements Disclosure
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including projected financial results for the quarter ending June 30, 2021 and the year ended December 31, 2021, our expectations regarding our market opportunity and future growth prospects and other statements that are not historical facts and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. Factors that might cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: failure related to our technology and our ability to innovate and respond to changes in technology, uncertainty regarding the scope and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our employees, operations, revenue and cash flows, uncertainty regarding our ability to access a consistent supply of internet display advertising inventory and expand access to such inventory, including without limitation uncertainty regarding the timing and scope of proposed changes to and enhancements of the Chrome browser announced by Google, investments in new business opportunities and the timing of these investments, whether the projected benefits of acquisitions materialize as expected, uncertainty regarding international growth and expansion, the impact of competition, uncertainty regarding legislative, regulatory or self-regulatory developments regarding data privacy matters and the impact of efforts by other participants in our industry to comply therewith, the impact of consumer resistance to the collection and sharing of data, our ability to access data through third parties, failure to enhance our brand cost-effectively, recent growth rates not being indicative of future growth, our ability to manage growth, potential fluctuations in operating results, our ability to grow our base of clients, and the financial impact of maximizing Revenue ex-TAC, as well as risks related to future opportunities and plans, including the uncertainty of expected future financial performance and results and those risks detailed from time-to-time under the caption “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in the Company’s SEC filings and reports, including the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 26, 2021, and in subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q as well as future filings and reports by the Company. Importantly, at this time, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on Criteo’s business, financial condition, cash flow and results of operations. There are significant uncertainties about the duration and the extent of the impact of the virus.
Except as required by law, the Company undertakes no duty or obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release as a result of new information, future events, changes in expectations or otherwise.
Conference Call Information
Criteo’s senior management team will discuss the Company’s earnings on a call that will take place today, May 5, 2021, at 8:00 AM ET, 2:00 PM CET. The conference call will be webcast live on the Company’s website http://ir.criteo.com and will be available for replay.
Please ask to be joined into the “Criteo S.A.” call.
Criteo (NASDAQ: CRTO) is the global technology company powering the world’s marketers with trusted and impactful advertising. 2,500 Criteo team members partner with over 20,000 customers and thousands of publishers around the globe to deliver effective advertising across all channels, by applying advanced machine learning to unparalleled data sets. Criteo empowers companies of all sizes with the technology they need to better know and serve their customers. For more information, please visit www.criteo.com.
Criteo Investor Relations
Edouard Lassalle, SVP, Market Relations & Capital Markets, email@example.com
Clemence Vermersch, Director, Investor Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org
Criteo Public Relations
Jessica Meyers, Director, Public Relations, Americas, email@example.com
Financial information to follow (see PDF)