Isentia exits content marketing, downgrades profits and ends legal war with Meltwater

Media monitoring service Isentia has given the stock market a triple shot of bad news with the announcements the company will be exiting the content marketing business, settling its legal dispute with competitor Meltwater and expects a 23% profit decline.

Isentia, previously Media Monitors before its 2013 rebrand, acquired King Content two years ago in a deal worth up to $48 million  to move the company into the content marketing industry.

Isentia’s Croll: “Our focus remains on the core operating business”

In August, the company killed the King Content brand and wrote off the $37.8 million it paid for the business. Isentia has now decided to move away from content marketing altogether.

“Our decision regarding King Content has been resolved and management will ensure a smooth and orderly transition for clients and employees,” said CEO John Croll in a statement to the ASX. “Going forward our focus remains on the core operating business of Isentia.”

At the time of posting, Isentia had not responded to Mumbrella’s questions about whether it planned to sell what remained of the King Content business, and if there would be staff redundancies.

At the time of the King Content acquisition, Croll was optimistic Isentia could become a billion dollar company. At the close of yesterday’s trading its market capitalisation was $357 million following the company’s ‘disappointing loss’ last year.

Isentia’s core business is also struggling, with the announcement informing the market that “due to soft trading” in the first quarter of the financial year, the company expects annual revenues to between $133m and $138m – a fall of up to 15% on 2017 – with an EBITDA between $32m and $36m – a decline of over 20%.

To address the decline, the company is flagging as reorganisation of its sales team and a focus on its ‘premium products’ including the Mediaportal service.

Rounding out Isentia’s announcement was the company has reached a confidential settlement with Meltwater over the claims its competitor was ‘free riding’ on Isentia’s services.

Meltwater, without admitting any further liability, agreed to permanent order restraining them from engaging in conduct which was the subject of Isentia’s claims.

John Croll said: “Today’s settlement is a good outcome and we are pleased that this matter has been successfully concluded.”


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