Criteo Q4: Mobile, Mid-market and China On The Mind

CriteoQ4 (1)French retargeting company Criteo closed Q4 with revenues of €135.9 million, up 57% from the €86.6 million recorded for the fourth quarter one year prior.

The company, which has been rooted in retail and travel retargeting since its start, said last quarter exceeded expectations after it clocked €113.8 million in the third quarter, its first as a public company.

Revenues for fiscal year 2013, excluding traffic acquisition costs, totaled €179 million, compared to 2012’s total of €114.1 million. Revenue in the fourth quarter, excluding traffic acquisition costs, increased 55.3% from a year prior, to €54.9 million compared to the €35.3 million last year.

“We continue to strengthen our position in digital programmatic advertising and we are particularly excited about the launch of our mobile offering in Q4,” said Criteo CEO JB Rudelle on the Q4 earnings call Tuesday. “We are now in the process of actively rolling out the mobile solution to our base of more than 5,000 clients. In the quarter, we also started to activate mobile inventory supply across our network of RTB and publisher partners.”

Criteo saw client growth across all geographies and segments, and retention rates remained above 90%, Rudelle claimed. Direct relationships with publishers continue to be important for the company’s business. For instance, Rudelle pointed out that Yahoo Japan, “gave us privileged access to premium and mobile inventory from their vast real estate” last quarter, as well as a real-time audience data integration with The Weather Co. group of sites. Criteo now works with more than 6,600 publishers directly.

Rudelle was especially bullish on Criteo’s mobile development efforts, noting early traction around the September release of a performance display ad solution designed for the mobile Web. Although the product was formally rolled out in December, Rudelle said the solution accounted for about 2.5% of revenue exact for the month of September and spiked to 10% in December, to paint a picture of the order of magnitude in adoption.

In addition to mobile, and a forward push in in-app ads through deep linking as a result of its AD-X Tracking acquisition, Rudelle noted geographic expansion is top of mind for the company.

“The US is by far the most sophisticated digital advertising market, and we saw good traction of new products and native ad formats within existing large accounts,” Rudelle said, noting 62% growth in revenue attributed to this market. “The US is leading in the roll-out of our mid-funnel products.”

Criteo also appointed former and Weather Channel exec Rob Deichert as COO for North American business in November. The Asia-Pacific region, Rudelle said, is another “major growth driver for us,” noting Criteo’s move to set up a business subsidiary in Singapore in addition to an office in Beijing; EMEA, where Criteo has staked its longest historical claim, experienced 37% revenue growth ex-TAC in 2013.

Summing up three core factors for growth in 2013, Rudelle credited the upselling of mid-funnel and mobile products to its existing retargeting base, the “significant” expansion of its mid-market client segment, as well as a continual push beyond retail in verticals, by increasing the number of automotive, telecom and consumer goods customers that range from T-Mobile to L’Oreal.

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