Avidly Plc, Company Announcement 30 Jan 2019 at 9:40 EET


Targeting a revenue of EUR 100 million in 2024

Avidly Plc's Board of Directors has, on 30 January 2019, approved the new strategy and mid-term financial targets for Avidly and confirmed a new dividend policy. In 2019–2024, Avidly is targeting the annual organic revenue growth to exceed 25% and overall revenue growth to exceed 40%. Avidly targets its revenues to exceed EUR 100 million in 2024. The Board of Directors also updated Avidly’s dividend policy to better reflect the strong growth mode of the strategy period.

Strong growth both organically and through acquisitions

“More than ever Avidly is a growth company. We are aiming at strong growth, both organically and through acquisitions. In addition to our rapid internationalisation, we want to be a pioneer of digitalisation in our field of business”, says Jyrki Vaittinen, CEO of Avidly.

The new strategy rests on two strong pillars:

1) Avidly aims to substantially grow its services based on HubSpot technology both organically and by means of acquisitions on existing markets (Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark), and by expanding into selected regions, mainly within Europe.

2) In Finland, Avidly continues its organic growth as a marketing agency offering a comprehensive range of services and serving customers throughout the country. The company focuses on offering continuous, comprehensive marketing services to medium-sized companies and individual marketing services to large enterprises.

The company’s business will be divided into two business areas and, from accounting period starting 1 January 2019 onwards, the company will have two separate reporting segments. Half-year report 2019, to be published on 22 August 2019, will be the first report with the new reporting structure. The business areas and reporting segments are as follows:

  • Inbound Marketing (services around HubSpot technology)
  • Marketing Services (comprehensive marketing services)

More detailed descriptions of the business areas are given at the end of this company announcement.

Financial targets for the strategy period

The Board of Directors has set new financial targets for 2019–2024, based on the new strategy. These mid-term financial targets are:

- Annual organic revenue growth exceeding 25% and overall revenue growth exceeding 40%.
- Revenue exceeding EUR 100 million by 2024
- Annual EBIT margin of 2-7% despite the rapid growth.

The following targets have been set for the business areas:  

Inbound Marketing:

  • Organic revenue growth exceeding 35% annually
  • Inorganic revenue growth exceeding 25% annually
  • Positive operating profit (EBIT)

Marketing Services:

  • Organic revenue growth 5–10%
  • Operating profit (EBIT) margin 7–12%

Dividend policy 

Avidly may distribute at the most 50% of its annual net result as dividends during the strategy period of 2019 - 2024 given that distribution of the dividends does not affect Avidly’s capability on reaching its growth targets for the period of 2019 - 2024.

CEO Jyrki Vaittinen, Avidly:

“We will be growing in the Inbound Marketing business area by recruiting and training dozens of new HubSpot experts. We have launched substantial recruiting campaigns in all current market areas in order to strengthen our organic growth. Furthermore, we are constantly looking for interesting businesses to acquire, especially in Europe. Our target is to maintain our position as one of the world’s leading HubSpot partner and to gain a very strong foothold in all our selected markets.

In the Marketing Services business area, we will be focusing on the further development and productisation of operating models for continuous marketing services. Furthermore, we are strongly focusing on the further development of our capabilities for digitalisation and delivering services for the needs based on our customers’ strategies in Finland.”

Avidly’s business areas and operating environment

Inbound Marketing business area

Within Avidly’s Inbound Marketing business area, we are focusing on offering services and integrations built around the HubSpot platform.

HubSpot is a market-leading technology platform that consists of tools for marketing, sales and customer service. Listed on the New York stock exchange, and with estimated revenues exceeding EUR 500 million in 2018, HubSpot is the fastest-growing technology platform for inbound marketing and sales, growing on average over 40% year-on-year for the last four years.

By combining marketing and sales into the inbound methodology, businesses are rewarded with high-value, easily measurable results. These are achieved by enabling them to deliver powerful, personalised customer experiences at every stage of the customer lifecycle. This begins with attracting interested and highly targeted prospects to a company’s website and blog.  By using relevant and helpful content specific to a potential customer’s particular needs or requirements, and by engaging in relevant messaging, inbound selling and marketing aims to help the right prospects move effectively through the different stages of the buyer’s journey and to make the correct purchasing decision. We have seen a shift in focus during recent years, where companies are increasingly realising the true value of taking care of people from their first interest throughout the buyer’s journey and customer lifecycle.

Currently, Avidly’s Inbound Marketing business area consists of teams in Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Together they employ more than 50 dedicated specialists focusing on growth strategies, inbound marketing and sales, as well as the HubSpot software and integrations. Avidly is one of the world’s largest partners offering services around the HubSpot Software. Within Avidly’s Inbound Marketing business area, we will focus on improving our market position within the Nordic countries, as well as expanding the business outside the Nordics. The business area is ambitiously targeting rapid international growth, both organically and through acquisitions.

We serve our customers in all of these areas. We use tomorrow’s digital tool stack to empower sales, marketing and service organizations to do a better, more efficient job by being smart, helpful and trustworthy. We see inbound as the mindset, philosophy and culture that is the centre of all our actions – by fully embracing that, we will be the best growth partner in the universe.

Combining the efforts of four (FI, SE, NO, DK) HubSpot Diamond Partners (the highest possible tier in HubSpot’s partner program), Avidly has developed rapidly to become one of the largest inbound agencies in the world. Avidly Inbound Marketing business area is a data-driven and customer-centric growth agency empowering our customers to optimize their growth.

We strive to stay ahead of the curve in the ever-changing landscape of modern marketing. That’s the only way we will be able to help our customers succeed. Make them shine. Reach their goals. And go beyond.

Marketing Services business area

Services in marketing and the range of marketing tools are digitalising rapidly. They have become a driver of growth, and Finnish companies, too, are reaping the benefits of digitalisation. In 2018, digital advertising grew by almost twice the speed of that in 2017. This can also be seen in marketing budgets: around 44% of the global marketing budget was used for digital media in 2018, a figure which is forecast to grow to almost 50% by 2020.

Finland is following the same trend: innovators that are leveraging digital marketing tools and combining sales and marketing are growing notably faster than other firms. Despite this growth rate, international comparisons reveal that most Finnish companies are only in the early stages of digitalising their sales and marketing. This provides players using digital marketing services with an excellent springboard for growth.

The marketing sector and the expertise it requires are changing rapidly as digitalisation and technology advance. For example, according to a study published by Forrester Consulting and Accenture Interactive in late 2018, 26% of marketing decision-makers around the world believe that the adoption of a new technology strategy will be a key task facing market executives over the next 12 months. Going forward, defining the limits of the field will indeed be even harder – and also more futile. The winners will open-mindedly grasp new opportunities and adopt agile practices.

At present, Avidly’s Marketing Services offers versatile marketing expertise to support its customers’ growth through Finland’s most extensive office network. We currently serve our customers in eleven locations: Helsinki, Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kotka, Kouvola, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Mikkeli, Oulu, Tampere, and Turku. We are developing our operations to even better serve our customers’ digital needs and even more towards a continuous marketing model that aims at achieving the customer’s strategic targets by means of marketing.

In our view, the marketing needs of our customers will be even more closely tied to the company’s strategy and, therefore, the marketing partner must be able to offer comprehensive marketing and communications services for executing the customer’s strategy. We believe that the need for a comprehensive, creative strategic marketing partner will increase, in particular among medium-sized companies.

Avidly’s Marketing Services business area forms a unique system where a single partner can provide communications and media agency services, among others, in addition to an extensive range of marketing services. We believe that this unique system combined with an extensive office network in Finland provides an especially good opportunity to organically grow our business within the changing marketing landscape in Finland. The main target for our Marketing Services is to maintain profitable organic growth in Finland. We consider serving our current customer base of over 500 companies with wider range of services to be one of the opportunities for growth. Going forward, we will be developing our operations to serve the strategic and digital needs of our customers even better.

We believe that as the opportunities provided by marketing technologies increase and the digitalization of companies continues, marketing will move even closer to the sales operations of companies in the coming years. This will, in particular, increase the strategic importance of digital marketing as a growth enabler.

We believe that in addition to the technologies themselves, the efficiency and scope of cooperation between the customer and marketing service companies will play a key role in making marketing a critical growth-enabling function within companies. As the role of marketing within business has grown, customers’ needs towards marketing partners have also changed. Marketing is changing more and more from project-type work towards continuous, strategic growing of sales and brand value and development of the customer experience.

Medium-sized companies, in particular, will encounter challenges in attracting modern marketing experts as their employees. In our view, this development will increase the significance of external marketing partners in this target group of medium-sized companies. We also believe that, alongside the new digital opportunities, the role of communications and content will continue to grow as regards reaching companies’ strategic goals.


AVIDLY PLC
BOARD OF DIRECTORS


Further information:

Jyrki Vaittinen, CEO, tel. +358 40 703 1662
Jari Tuovinen, Chairman of the Board, tel. +358 500 593 000

Merasco Oy acts as Avidly Plc’s Certified Advisor, tel. +358 9 6129 670

Avidly (former Zeeland Family) is Finland’s leading marketing service provider and a leading marketing automation company in the Nordics, listed on the Nasdaq First North marketplace in Helsinki. We create an atmosphere for growth to take our customers forward. We are a team of more than 250 navigators and explorers, makers and shakers in 15 locations in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. www.avidlyagency.com