Boku looking forward to the next year with considerable confidence

Boku Inc (LON:BOKU), a leading provider of global mobile payment solutions, has announced the following unaudited trading update for the financial year ended 31 December 2022.

Financial Highlights

·   Revenues for the full year ended 31 December 2022 expected to be at least $63.3m (2021: $62.1m) despite significant currency headwinds.

o  On a constant currency basis*, revenues were 14% higher than 2021.

·    H2 2022 revenues expected to be at least $33.0m (H2 2021: $31.4m) representing 9% growth compared to H1 2022 ($30.3m).

o  On a constant currency basis*, H2 2022 revenues were 19% higher than H2 2021.

·     Adjusted EBITDA** expected to be at least $20.0m (H1 2022: $9.5m), in line with market expectations, despite being impacted by currency headwinds and our continued investment in Boku’s mobile-first payment network.

·    Total Group cash was $116.3m at year-end, up from $67.8 million at 30 June 2022. Of this, $50.4m is Boku’s ‘own cash’ with the balance being merchant cash in transit. The Group is debt free.

·    The average daily cash balance, a measure that smooths out the effect of carrier and merchant payments, was $98.8m in December 2022, up from $63.3m in June 2022.

Following the disposal of Boku’s Identity division on 28 February 2022, the results shown are for the continuing Payments division. Any prior period comparatives have also been adjusted and exclude the Identity division results.

Non-Financial KPIs

·   52.3m Monthly Active Users (“MAUs”)*** of the Boku platform in December 2022 (December 2021: 41.0m), a 28% increase.

·    56.7m new users made their first payment or bundling transaction with Boku during 2022.

·    TPV**** of $8.9bn in 2022, up from $8.2bn in 2021 despite currency headwinds. On a constant currency basis*, TPV was 20% higher than 2021.

·     Particularly strong growth in the new Local Payment Methods (“LPMs”):

o 8x increase in volumes processed from LPMs including eWallets and account to account/real time payments, compared to 2021.

o 230% increase in MAUs of LPMs, to 3.8m in December 2022 compared to 1.1m in December 2021

o New users of LPMs increased to 8.4m in 2022 (2021: 2.8m).

Operational Highlights

·    New multi-year global Local Payment Method contract signed with Amazon in H2 2022.

·    Launched in China on Alipay and WeChat Pay wallets for global games merchant.

·    Approximately 150 new launches in 2022 with existing and new merchants including Google, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, Amazon, Disney, Netflix, Spotify, Samsung, Sky and EA Games, through Boku’s expanded mobile-first network. Of these launches, around 50 were for LPMs and more than 30 for bundling programmes.

·    Continued investment in Boku’s regulated payment capabilities which now cover more than 50 markets.

·   Following the granting of a payments licence in the Philippines, we are in the final stages of obtaining a licence in Malaysia.

·   Mobile-first payments network expanded to reach over 7.3bn end user accounts, 45% of which are non-Direct Carrier Billing (“DCB”).

·    Identity business sold to Twilio on 28 February 2022 for a maximum consideration of $32.5m.

Jon Prideaux, Boku’s CEO, commented: “While the general economic climate worsened in 2022, it was a breakthrough year for Boku: one in which Local Payment Methods became the main driver of our growth, building on the solid foundations of DCB. Our team is delivering superior quality in LPMs, which is being recognised by merchants. We launched nearly 50 Local Payment Method merchant connections in the year. Now live in 19 countries across three continents, merchants in video games, digital advertising, ridesharing, streaming music and video industries are using Boku to connect to Local Payment Methods globally, allowing us to deliver a second straight year of triple digit growth in these payment methods. With the imminent launch of Amazon on wallets, I look forward to the next year with considerable confidence.”

Capital Markets Day

Boku is also pleased to announce that it will hold a Capital Markets Day on Wednesday 22 February 2023 and will include presentations from Jon Prideaux, CEO, Keith Butcher, CFO and other members of the senior management team.

The focus will be on Boku’s progress on ‘the Big Pond’ and an overview of its opportunities for growth and financial outlook, as well as an update on wallets and account to account/real time payments.

The event will take place at the London Stock Exchange from 2pm to 5pm and be open for investors and analysts to attend in person. Further details will be shared with prospective attendees in due course.

*       Constant currency calculated by applying the monthly average foreign exchange rates in 2021 to the actual 2022 monthly results.

**     Adjusted EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization): Adjusted for stock option expenses, foreign exchange gains/losses and Exceptional items including charitable donations. See reconciliation per the income statement.

***   Monthly Active Users (MAU) data includes all users who successfully processed a payment or had an active bundle during the last month of the period.

**** TPV is the US$ value of transactions processed by the Boku platform and includes transactions from DCB, Bundling, eWallets and account to account/real-time payments. More bundling programmes are included in 2022 vs. prior years as these contracts switched to an ad valorem pricing model.

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