Spark Networks Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2005 Financial Results

  • EBITDAS1 Profit of $6.0 Million in 2005 vs. Loss of $6.0 Million in 2004
  • Net Loss of $1.4 Million, or $(0.06) Per Share, Compared to Net Loss of $11.6 Million, or $(0.51) Per Share, in 2004
  • Redesigned Websites Launched on New “Bedrock” Technology Platform
  • ADRs Recently Listed on AMEX Under Ticker Symbol “LOV”

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., February 16, 2006 – Spark Networks plc (AMEX: LOV), a leading provider of online personals services, today reported fourth quarter and full year 2005 financial results.

Highlights

“2005 was a turnaround year in which we made significant strides towards right-sizing our cost structure and generating cash flow from operations,” stated David Siminoff, Spark Networks president and chief executive officer. “We begin 2006 newly listed on the American Stock Exchange. We are energized by recent technology improvements and are poised for balanced growth with significant operating leverage.”

The Company reported record results for its JDate® operating segment. For the year ended December 31, 2005, JDate revenue grew 9%, to $26.0 million, with 89% contribution margin. The Company’s Other Businesses segment grew by 72%, partially driven by the purchase of MingleMatch, Inc. in the second quarter of 2005.

The Company also reported that during the fourth quarter, it relaunched its JDate and AmericanSingles® websites on its new technology platform. The Company expects that its new three-tier architecture, based upon distributed Service Oriented Architecture principles, will enable it to more rapidly develop new capabilities and enhance its ability to efficiently scale its websites.

“While 2005 was a record year for JDate, we were also able to successfully re-architect and relaunch JDate and AmericanSingles on our new technology platform,” stated Siminoff. “We plan to build on this performance in 2006. Our next level of growth will come from leveraging the communities we acquired in the MingleMatch acquisition in order to move quickly into new vertical markets that show promising market potential, as well as from our continuing focus on enhancing the consumer experience and finding new ways for our members to communicate and connect.”

Financial Results

Reported revenue for the fourth quarter of 2005 was $16.6 million, a decrease of 3%, compared to $17.1 million, over the same period in 2004. This decrease is primarily the result of lower AmericanSingles revenue due to a significant cut in marketing expenditures for the website, designed to improve its contribution margin. Revenue for the year ended December 31, 2005 was $65.5 million, an increase of 1%, compared to revenue of $65.1 million, for the year ended December 31, 2004.

Total operating expenses for the fourth quarter of 2005 were $10.8 million, a decrease of 10%, compared to $12.0 million, in the same period in 2004. Total operating expenses for the year ended December 31, 2005 were $42.0 million, a decrease of 8%, compared to operating expenses of $45.5 million, for the same period ended December 31, 2004. The decline in operating expenses was primarily due to a decrease in G&A expense as a result of the continued right-sizing of the Company’s infrastructure.

With share compensation expenses included, the Company reported a net loss of $403,000, or $(0.01) per share, for the fourth quarter of 2005, compared to a net loss of $1.6 million, or $(0.06) per share, for the same period in 2004. For the year ended December 31, 2005, the Company reported a net loss of $1.4 million, or $(0.06) per share, compared to a net loss of $11.6 million, or $(0.51) per share, for the year ended December 31, 2004. During the third quarter of 2005, the Company began accounting for share options in accordance with the Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 123 (R), Share-Based payment (“SFAS 123 (R)”). Periods prior to the third quarter of 2005 do not contain any expense for share options in accordance with SFAS 123(R). Due to the Company’s implementation of SFAS 123 (R), the net loss for the year ended December 31, 2005 includes compensation expense related to share options of $2.7 million. Excluding FAS 123 (R), the Company would have reported a profit for the year of $0.05 per share, compared to a $(0.44) per share loss in 2004.2 See the attached Consolidated Statement of Operations for the Share-Based Compensation Expense for each period.

EBITDAS (EBITDA adjusted to remove share compensation expense) for the fourth quarter of 2005 was $2.0 million, compared to EBITDAS of $7,000, during the same period in 2004. EBITDAS for the year ended December 31, 2005 was $6.0 million, compared to an EBITDAS loss of $6.0 million, for the year ended December 31, 2004. See the attached Consolidated Statement of Operations for a reconciliation of EBITDA and EBITDAS to net income (loss).

Balance Sheet, Cash, Debt

As of December 31, 2005, the Company had a cash and marketable securities position of $17.3 million, compared to cash and marketable securities of $7.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2004. The increase in cash and marketable securities on the balance sheet is partially the result of the exercise of options to purchase 4.0 million shares by the Company’s founders. As a result of this exercise, the share count increased from 26.2 million to 30.2 million. As of December 31, 2005, the Company had remaining payments in respect of the purchase of MingleMatch, Inc. of $9.0 million. Of this amount, $2.0 million was paid in January 2006, $3.0 million is due in March 2006 and $4.0 million is due in May 2006. As of December 31, 2005, the Company has accumulated over $50.0 million of NOLs.

Segment Reporting3

The Company reported fourth quarter 2005 revenue for its JDate segment of $6.8 million, an increase of 10%, compared to $6.2 million, in the same period in 2004. For the year ended December 31, 2005, JDate segment revenue was $26.0 million, an increase of 9%, compared to $23.8 million, in the year ended December 31, 2004.

The Company reported fourth quarter 2005 revenue for its AmericanSingles segment of $6.7 million, a decrease of 22%, compared to $8.6 million, in the same period in 2004. For the year ended December 31, 2005, AmericanSingles segment revenue was $29.2 million, a decrease of 17%, compared to $35.2 million, in the year ended December 31, 2004. “In early 2005, we re-oriented management of our marketing program and realigned our spending, which impacted revenue results for AmericanSingles,” stated Siminoff. “We have since begun to capitalize on efficient marketing opportunities as they present themselves.”

The Company reported fourth quarter 2005 revenue for its Other Businesses segment of $3.1 million, an increase of 41%, compared to $2.2 million, in the same period in 2004. For the year ended December 31, 2005, the Other Businesses segment reported revenue of $10.3 million, an increase of 72%, compared to $6.0 million, in the year ended December 31, 2004. The 2005 results for the Other Businesses Segment includes the financial results for MingleMatch, Inc. which the Company acquired and consolidated during the second quarter of 2005.

Business Metrics

Average paying subscribers for the Company’s JDate segment were 73,700, during the fourth quarter of 2005, an increase of 8%, compared to 68,500, from the same period in 2004. For the year ended December 31, 2005, average paying subscribers for JDate were 70,500, an increase of 1%, compared to 69,800, for the year ended December 31, 2004.

Average paying subscribers for the Company’s AmericanSingles segment were 91,900, during the fourth quarter of 2005, a decrease of 29%, compared to 129,400, from the same period in 2004. For the year ended December 31, 2005, average paying subscribers for AmericanSingles were 105,300, a decrease of 21%, compared to 132,500, for the year ended December 31, 2004.

Average paying subscribers for the Company’s Other Businesses segment were 58,600, during the fourth quarter of 2005, an increase of 88%, compared to 31,100, from the same period in 2004. For the year ended December 31, 2005, average paying subscribers for the Company’s Other Businesses were 44,200, an increase of 86%, compared to 23,800, for the year ended December 31, 2004.

Average paying subscribers for the Company, as a whole, in the fourth quarter of 2005, were approximately 224,200, a decrease of 2%, compared to 229,000, from the same period in 2004. For the year, average paying subscribers were 220,000, a decrease of 3%, compared to 226,100, for the year ended December 31, 2004.

Direct subscriber acquisition cost4 (SAC) for the Company’s JDate segment in the fourth quarter of 2005 was $12.25, an increase of 15%, compared to $10.68, from the same period in 2004. For the year ended December 31, 2005, SAC for the Company’s JDate segment totaled $12.70, an increase of 57%, compared to $8.09, for the year ended December 31, 2004. “SAC metrics for JDate are not an apples-to-apples comparison when you consider the marketing mix has shifted from a primarily online, direct marketing effort to one that now includes a wide mix of offline initiatives focused on continuing to strengthen the JDate brand,” stated Siminoff. “Because of these efforts, we proudly feel that, within the Jewish community, JDate has become a verb.”

SAC for the Company’s AmericanSingles segment in the fourth quarter of 2005 was $36.66, compared to $36.52, in the same period in 2004. For the year ended December 31, 2005, SAC for the Company’s AmericanSingles segment totaled $35.16, a decrease of 19%, compared to $43.29, for the year ended December 31, 2004. The decrease in SAC for AmericanSingles is a result of the re-orientation of the Company’s marketing program during 2005, which resulted in a reduced AmericanSingles marketing spend.

SAC for the Company’s Other Businesses segment in the fourth quarter of 2005 was $29.73, a decrease of 11%, compared to $33.51, from the same period in 2004. For the year ended December 31, 2005, SAC for the Company’s Other Businesses segment totaled $32.05, a decrease of 8%, compared to $34.74, for the year ended December 31, 2004.

SAC for the Company, as a whole, in the fourth quarter of 2005 was $27.78, a decrease of 5%, compared to $29.37, from the same period last year. For the year ended December 31, 2005, SAC totaled $28.36, a decrease of 16%, compared to $33.85, for the year ended December 31, 2004.

Investor Conference Call:

The Company will discuss its financial results during a live teleconference today at 1:30 p.m. Pacific time and 10:30 p.m. Frankfurt time.

Call Title: Spark Networks 2005 Financial Results
Toll-Free (United States): +1-800-370-0898
International: +1-973-409-9260
Confirmation #: 7023107
One-Week Replay
Toll-Free (United States): +1-877-519-4471
International: +1-973-341-3080
PIN Number: 7023107

The company will also be hosting a webcast of its call which can be accessed here: http://www.visualwebcaster.com/event.asp?id=32397

Safe Harbor Statement:

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Any statements in this news release that are not statements of historical fact may be considered to be forward-looking statements. Written words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intends,” “goal,” “objective,” “seek,” “attempt,” or variations of these or similar words, identify forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements and forecasts involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the near future. There are a number of factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially, including, but not limited to, our ability to attract members, convert members into paying subscribers and retain our paying subscribers, our ability to keep pace with rapid technological changes, the strength of our existing brands and our ability to maintain and enhance those brands and our dependence upon the telecommunications infrastructure and out networking hardware and software infrastructure. For a discussion of those and further risks and uncertainties, please see our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We file annual, quarterly and special reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. You may read and copy any reports, statements or other information that we file at the SEC’s public reference room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C., 20549. Please call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 for further information on the public reference room. Our public filings with the SEC also are available from commercial document retrieval services and at the web site maintained by the SEC athttp://www.sec.gov.

About Spark Networks plc:

Spark Networks’ American Depository Shares trade on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol “LOV” and its Global Depositary Shares trade on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol “MHJG”. The Spark Networks portfolio of consumer websites includes, among others, JDate.com (www.jdate.com), AmericanSingles.com (www.americansingles.com), BlackSinglesConnection™.com (www.blacksinglesconnection.com) and ChristianMingle®.com (www.christianmingle.com).

For More Information:

Media: Gail Laguna
+ 1 323 836 3000
Email: Media Relations
Investors: Mark Thompson
+ 1 323 836 3000
Email: Investor Relations

1 “EBITDAS” is defined as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and share-based compensation. EBITDAS should not be construed as a substitute for net income (loss) or net cash provided by (used in) operating activities (all as determined in accordance with GAAP) for the purpose of analyzing our operating performance, financial position and cash flows, as EBITDAS is not defined by GAAP. However, the Company regards EBITDAS as a complement to net income and other GAAP financial performance measures, including an indirect measure of operating cash flow. As such, management believes that the investment community finds it to be a useful tool to perform meaningful comparisons of past, present and future operating results and as a means to evaluate the results of core on-going operations.

2 Share-Based Compensation is a non-cash charge recorded in the Company’s income statements. The Company believes that the non-GAAP financials measures that exclude share-based compensation from net income (loss) provide useful information to management and investors regarding how the expenses associated with the application of SFAS 123® are reflected on the statements of operations and facilitates comparisons to the Company’s historical operating results. The Company’s management uses this information internally for reviewing the financial results, forecasting and budgeting.

3 In accordance with Financial Accounting Standard No. 131, the Company’s financial reporting includes detailed data on three separate operating segments. The JDate segment consists of the Company’s JDate.com website and its co-branded websites. The AmericanSingles segment consists of the Company’s AmericanSingles.com website and its co-branded and private label websites. The Other Businesses segment consists of all of the Company’s other websites and businesses and gives effect to the MingleMatch acquisition on May 19, 2005.

4 Direct subscriber acquisition cost is defined as total direct marketing costs divided by the number of new paying subscribers during the period. This represents the average cost of acquiring a new paying subscriber during the period.

Download as PDF to view consolidated financial statements