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An important year ended for DIGITAL360, characterised by strong growth (pro-forma turnover and EBITDA grew by 85% and 75% respectively), mainly as a result of the many acquisitions made both in Italy and abroad.
Growth on a like-for-like basis (i.e. considering only the companies already in the Group as at 31.12.2021) was 10% in terms of turnover and 5% in terms of EBITDA, which was lower than in previous years due mainly to the strengthening of corporate management and the investment made by the most senior executives in supporting the integration of acquisitions.
In 2022, we acquired 15 companies, with an outlay of EUR 20m (plus EUR 7m in deferred payments in 2023 and substantial commitments in the coming years for the exercise of put and call options governing the purchase of the remaining shares).
In Italy in particular, 8 companies were acquired, 3 in the Demand Generation sector, where DIGITAL360 has become a leader with particular reference to the technology vendor market, and 5 in the advisory sector, focused on the digital transformation of businesses and public administrations.
More specifically, in the Demand Generation sphere, all three of the companies acquired – Del Monte, DigitalSales and Inside Comunicazione – specialise in B2B digital marketing and lead generation services, and in offering technological solutions to support marketing and sales (MarTech and SalesTech), with particular reference to those enabled by the HubSpot platform (a leading software company in the world in this field and listed on the Nasdaq).
In the Advisory area, five companies were acquired: the Methodos Group (of which Methodos, Digital Attitude and Accompany are part) with a strong positioning in organisational consulting, with particular reference to change management, digital transformation and software platforms supporting behavioural changes (Digital Coach and Digital Adoption Platform); CryptoNet Labs, specialising in cybersecurity, with an offering that includes consulting services and software platforms for monitoring and defending corporate data and information; Meridiana Italia – focused on specialised services for the Public Administration relating to the management of European programmes on national and EU territory; SmartOperations, which, using Data Science as a Service (DSaaS), develops technical solutions, including algorithms and prototypes, to support customers on their journey towards Industry 4. 0; Corecube, to strengthen the offer of training services for companies and PA.
Internationally, we acquired 7 companies all operating, in line with our clear strategy, in the demand generation sector for technology companies in Spanish-speaking countries. In particular, 4 – BPS (Spain), Impacto TIC (Colombia), Netmedia (Mexico), Ycon (Argentina) – are publishers or companies specialised in the production of content on digital innovation and information and communication technologies, which manage the main online portals on these topics in the Spanish community. The other 3 – Zubia (Mexico), X3 Media (Colombia), Xona (Argentina) – are companies specialised in digital marketing and lead generation services and in MarTech and SalesTech technology platforms.
The international M&A process is continuing in 2023 and we have already closed two more acquisitions in Chile: a publisher that also manages events – EMB – and a group – Grupo Uno a uno – that offers a wide range of marketing and lead generation services.
In short, our course is clear, the journey is still long, and we think this is the right time to invest, despite the uncertainties of the macro-economic scenario: to build the right market positioning and the right organisational structure that will enable us to seize the great opportunities we see in the long term.
We will talk about our results in detail on 3 April in an interactive webinar from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. To register go HERE