Digital signage software firm Creative Realities reports revenue of $11.6 million in Q3 2023
Thursday, November 9, 2023
Record 3Q 2023 Revenue of $11.6 million;
Record 3Q Gross Profit of $5.3 million (45.8%);
Record Annual Recurring Revenue run-rate of ~$15.6 million;
Projected 4Q Revenue of $15.8- $17.8 million;
Projected FY2023 Revenue of $46.8 – $48.4 million;
Issues Projected FY2024 Revenue of $60 million to $80 million;
Issues Projected FY2024 Adjusted EBITDA of $7.2 million to $12.0 million;
Issues Projected FY 2024 exit ARR run rate of $18.0 million.
LOUISVILLE, Ky., Nov. 09, 2023 — Creative Realities, Inc. (“Creative Realities,” “CRI,” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: CREX, CREXW), a provider of digital signage and media solutions, announced its financial results for the three and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2023.
Rick Mills, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “I am pleased to report overall record quarterly revenue and gross profit of $11.6 million and $5.3 million, respectively. These numbers exceed current consensus analyst estimates. The third quarter gross profit margin of 45.8% is a 500 basis-point improvement over the third quarter of last year and a continuation of the improved year-over-year trend in margins demonstrated in the first two quarters of the year. This brings the Company’s year-to-date gross profit to a record $14.7 million at a record gross profit margin in any year of 47.8%. This is approximately a 790 basis-point improvement over 2022.”
Mr. Mills continued, “The march to value creation continues as we execute our strategy acquire new enterprise customers utilizing our fully integrated offering- from hardware to SaaS to an extensive array of services. Our SaaS-related ARR is now at a record $15.6 million run-rate and on target to meet or exceed $16 million by year-end.” Mr. Mills added, “Ongoing growth in ARR, already seeded as we work through our backlog, is additionally bolstered by the momentum of a near 70% RFP win rate this year.”
“The company is poised for another transformational year in 2024. Through the first nine months of 2023, we have paid down debt principal by approximately $3.9. million. This, in addition to our equity offering in August of this year, reduced our net debt to $8.4 million. We had $8.4 million in cash on hand as of the end of the third quarter. Our leverage ratio reduced from 4.9 times as of December 31, 2022 to 2.6 times as of September 30, 2023 leveraging the trailing twelve months Adjusted EBITDA. We project record fourth quarter revenue of $15.8 million to $17.8 million to yield between a record $46.4 million to $48.4 million for fiscal year 2023. The anticipated continuation of record revenue, improvements in margins and debt reduction into 2024 is expected to translate to free cash flow generation for the first time in the Company’s history in 2024. We believe we have the business prospects and, now, balance sheet, to drive value.”
The Company is issuing 2024 Revenue and Adjusted EBITDA projections in ranges of $60.0 million to $80 million, and $7.2 million to $12 million, respectively, with a 2024 targeted exit ARR run-rate of $18.0 million. The Company projects a 2024 year-end exit leverage ratio of between 1.2 and 1.5 times, barring any additional financings or strategic opportunities.
Mr. Mills encouraged investors to attend the Company’s earnings release call, “In addition to providing additional context to our third quarter earnings, we will convey several important announcements and updates relating to new customer acquisitions and the scaling of our CMS platforms.”
Our backlog remains steady at greater than $110 million as of September 30, 2023. Revenue backlog is primarily related to projected network deployments and project work, which upon execution will result in additional ARR. The Company’s backlog calculation is comprised of the full rollout of projects that have been communicated to us by our current customers under contract, and includes all revenues to be received by the Company by deploying all of our products and services necessary to service such stated projects, including projected revenues that are not currently subject to binding purchase orders or firm commitments.
3Q 2023 Financial Overview
All references to “current year” and “prior year” represent references to the three months ended September 30, 2023 and 2022, respectively.
Revenue in excess of analyst consensus at $11.6 million.
Expansion of gross margin percentage to 45.8% in the current year from 40.4% in the prior year.
Expansion of Annualized Recurring Revenue to forward run-rate of ~$15.6 million.
Revenue, gross profit, and gross margin:
Sales were $11,568, representing an increase of $388, or 3%, as compared to the same period in 2022. Hardware revenues were $4,847 for the current year, a decrease of $168, or 3%, as compared to the prior year, of which approximately $3.0 million were earned from customers new to the Company in 2023.
Services and other revenues were $6,721 for the three month period ended September 30, 2023, an increase of $556, or 9%, compared to prior year driven by increases of (1) $543 in media sales attributable to the addition of sales resources and restructuring of third party selling contracts to expand its access to such agents, and (2) $420 in managed services revenue as a result of increased SaaS licenses that drive annual recurring revenue. These increases in services revenue in the current year were partially offset by a $505 decrease in installation services revenue as deployment of hardware sold during the current year associated with multiple advertising networks did not begin installation activities until the fourth quarter of 2023.
Gross profit increased $789, or 17% during the current year as compared to the prior year driven by enhanced margins on hardware revenues and an increase in services revenue.
Gross profit margin increased to 46% during the current year, from 40% in the prior year driven by (1) favorable revenue mix during the current year as managed services, which includes higher margin SaaS and other services revenues, increased to 37% of total revenue as compared to 35% of total revenues in the prior year, and (2) a 6% margin expansion associated with hardware revenues generated in the current year primarily generated from sales of custom manufactured kiosks purchased for deployment of an advertising network.
Sales and marketing expenses generally include the salaries, taxes, and benefits of our sales and marketing personnel, as well as trade show activities, travel, and other related sales and marketing costs. Sales and marketing expenses in the current year increased by $583, or 81%, compared to the prior year driven primarily by seasonality in the Company’s media sales business unit and the Company’s enhanced investments into sales and marketing activities. Following the Company’s acquisition of Reflect Systems, Inc. via merger in 2022 (the “Merger”), the Company adopted certain tools, technology, and processes – particularly with respect to lead generation and brand marketing – that were historically undercapitalized by the Company and have since accelerated new customer acquisition. Through completion of the Merger, the Company also acquired a media sales business unit that serves to monetize customer networks via the direct sale of advertising to be displayed on digital advertising networks owned by those customers. This business utilizes internal and third-party sales agents – the salaries and commissions of which are included within Sales and Marketing Expense within the Condensed Consolidated Statement of Operations.
Research and development expenses generally include personnel and development tools costs associated with the continued development of the Company’s content management systems and other related application development. The Company capitalizes certain of these expenses and amortizes those costs through the Condensed Consolidated Statement of Operations on a straight-line basis over the economic useful life of the software feature or functionality. Research and development expenses increased by $155, or 65%, for the current year as compared to the prior year driven primarily by incremental headcount added via completion of the Merger on February 17, 2022 and a higher rate of bug and maintenance work as compared to capitalized activities during the current year.
General and administrative expenses decreased $215, or 8% during the current year as compared to the prior year driven by a decrease of $492 in stock compensation expense as outstanding performance awards were fully expensed as of December 31, 2022. This decrease was partially offset by increased personnel costs in the current year as a result of higher headcount following the Merger and scaled up operations in response to an increase in customer acquisition and associated planned deployments.
Operating loss, net loss, and EBITDA:
Operating income was $160 thousand in the current year as compared to an operating loss of $284 thousand in the prior year, inclusive of approximately $0.8 million in non-cash amortization of fixed and intangible assets in both the current and prior year.
Net loss was $1.9 million for the current year as compared to net loss of $0.6 million for the prior year. Excluding the non-cash change in the fair value of contingent consideration issuable in the Merger, the net loss was $0.6 and $1.0 million in the current and prior year periods, respectively.
Adjusted EBITDA and associated Adjusted EBITDA margin were approximately $1.0 million and 8.8% in the current year as compared to $1.2 million and 11.2% in the prior year. See the table at the end of this press release for a description of these non-GAAP financial measures and reconciliation to our net income/(loss) for the current and prior years.
Cash: The Company’s cash on hand as of September 30, 2023 increased to $8.4 million from $1.6 million as of December 31, 2022 as a result of the Company’s receipt of $5.4 million in net proceeds from the Company’s public offering completed in August 2023, as well as incremental collections on accounts receivable, annual billings associated with our SaaS-based contracts, and increases in customer deposits on future deployments, partially offset by investments in software development projects and repayment of debt.
Debt: Through September 30, 2023, the Company repaid in the current calendar year in excess of $3.9 million in principal on debt in the current calendar year, reducing the Company’s leverage ratio from approximately 4.9 times to approximately 2.6 times.
Conference Call Details
The Company will host a conference call to review the results of the Company’s third quarter 2023, and provide additional commentary about the Company’s recent performance, on Friday, November 10, 2023 at 9:00 am Eastern Time.
Prior to the call, participants should register at https://bit.ly/CRIearnings2023Q3. Once registered, participants can use the dial-in information provided in the registration email to listen to the Company’s prepared remarks and participate in the live question and answer session. An archived edition of the conference call will also be posted on our website at www.cri.com later that same day and will remain available to interested parties via the same link for one year.
About Creative Realities, Inc.
Creative Realities helps clients use place-based digital media to achieve business objectives such as increased revenue, enhanced customer experiences, and improved productivity. The Company designs, develops and deploys digital signage experiences for enterprise-level networks, and is actively providing recurring SaaS and support services across diverse vertical markets, including but not limited to retail, automotive, digital-out-of-home (DOOH) advertising networks, convenience stores, foodservice/QSR, gaming, theater, and stadium venues.
With its recent acquisition of Reflect Systems, Inc. (“Reflect”), a leading provider of digital signage software platforms, the Company is poised to extend its product and service offering and accelerate growth in SaaS revenue. While Reflect provided a broad range of digital signage solutions, Reflect’s flagship products are the market-leading ReflectView digital signage platform and Reflect AdLogic ad management platform. ReflectView is the industry’s most comprehensive, scalable, enterprise-grade digital signage platform, powering enterprise customer networks. Meanwhile, Reflect AdLogic has become the benchmark for digital signage powered ad networks, delivering nearly 50 million ads daily. The acquisition of Reflect also brought to the Company a media sales division with the expertise and relationships to help any digital signage venue owner develop and execute a monetization plan for their network.