Boulogne-Billancourt, 6th January 2010
Drawing on the strength of its market-leading position in online dating in Europe, Meetic (FR0004063097 – MEET) today presents its profitable growth strategy for 2010.
Growth: Meetic’s main objective for 2010
After eight years in existence and continual growth, in 2009 Meetic’s sites recorded new record audiences with close to 6.5 million unique visitors in February and March, and over 800 million page views (Source Comscore). The Group’s brands have established an unparalleled reputation, particularly in France with a brand awareness level of 94% for the Meetic brand (Source TNS Sofres – August 2009).
Drawing on these exceptional assets an, henceforth, the lack of significant competition in Europe, the Group will build its 2010′ growth strategy around two objectives:
- use of the strong reputation of the Group’s brands acquired in each of the countries in Europe in which it operates. Indeed, creating powerful brands on each of its markets has enabled the Group:
to continually improve the image of its services among its users, as well as the natural traffic on its websites;
to roll out new high-potential segments under an „umbrella brand” strategy“ (Meetic Affinity, Meetic VIP), the most efficiency strategy in terms of marketing expenditure;
- segmentation of its services between Dating (Meetic), Matchmaking (Meetic Affinity), Flirting (Peexme) and premium introductions (Meetic VIP), enabling it to anticipate and take better account of the expectations of its various user communities and thereby optimise the value generated on each of these segments.
Roll-out of Meetic Affinity: major driver of profitable growth in 2010
In the first quarter of 2010, the Group will proceed with the large-scale promotion of its Matchmaking service on its main markets, with the aim of becoming No.1 in Europe in terms of revenues on this segment from 2010.
Capitalising on the exceptional success of Meetic Affinity in France (MeeticAffinity.fr is the No. 2 website in France in terms of revenue, after Meetic.fr), the Group will replicate the winning strategy adopted in France, with advertising campaigns to launch the service supported by self-promotion campaigns in the form of cross-selling, targeting the millions of users registered on its websites and users of Match.com in Europe. The Group will also rely on its broad network of exclusive partners (AOL, Yahoo!, MSN, etc.) to distribute its Matchmaking offer.
Peexme: future growth driver among 18-25 year olds
Peexme is an integral part of the Group’s strategy of segmenting its offering targeting different categories of users. The social networking and dating site is targeted at users aged 18-25. It can be used via the web or mobile phone, and a Beta version has been available since July 2009.
Developed and distributed in Europe without significant investment, Peexme has been designed to take account of the needs and usage practices of this category of users. The website will benefit from a high level of visibility and strong viral growth thanks to its full integration into the Facebook website (Peexme has adopted the features offered by Facebook Connect).
The full Peexme application on Facebook will be available in early 2010, and will be immediately followed by a version for the iPhone. Its business model will combine freemium web revenues and revenues from mobile users. The commercial launch of Peexme will be in early 2010, and will benefit from Meetic’s powerful position among its youngest users (in 2009, more than 7,000 new users aged 18-25 registered on the Group’s websites each day), as well as on Facebook.
Commercial launch of Meetic VIP
Meetic VIP is an invitation-only premium dating website developed and tested during 2009. With several thousand users, the website has now been finalised and its commercial launch will take place in France in early 2010. Meetic VIP will benefit from a high level of visibility among target users already present on the Group’s websites and will remain an exclusive area, which is a pre-requisite for its long-term success. In accordance with the same self-promotion strategy, Meetic VIP will also be rolled out on the Group’s main markets in 2010.
EBITDA margin target of 20-25% reiterated
The Group has always had a business model in which marketing expenditure constitutes the main growth leverage and has unique knowhow in managing the efficiency of this marketing expenditure in view of the future growth it generates.
Moreover, Meetic estimates full-year cost synergies resulting from the integration of Match.com’s operations at €10-15 million in the first year, these cost synergies representing further means that will be devoted to the Group’s growth over the 2010 year. The Group’s thus possesses all the necessary assets to meet its profitable growth targets and is setting, for 2010, the same EBITDA margin as that announced for 2009, i.e. between 20 and 25%.Marc Simoncini, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Meetic, comments: „We firmly believe that the European online dating market still offers considerable potential for growth. 2009 was a key year in Meetic’s history, enabling us to further strengthen our leading position in Europe while also taking over our main competitor, thereby laying the foundations for our future growth. Match.com’s operations, which will be integrated in 2010, will therefore be directed towards achieving strong profitable growth, thanks to both the exceptional position established on the dating segment and the generalised roll-out of our matchmaking services in the 16 European countries in which we operate. With our specific range of services, we are also confident that Peexme and Meetic VIP will be able, in the medium term, to help to enhance our growth, while also confirming the high margins achieved in flirting and premium dating services. All of the elements needed to implement this profitable growth strategy were put into place in 2009. We are therefore entering the new year with serenity and confidence.“