Bumble positive on 2023 as user growth defies economic gloom
Updates shares, adds details
Feb 22 (Reuters) -Bumble Inc BMBL.O projected annual revenue growth above market estimates on optimism over rising paying users on its eponymous dating app, even as its Badoo app struggles in a weak economy due to a larger presence among lower-income consumers.
The company's shares were nearly 2% higher after the bell on Wednesday, after swinging wildly in trading after results.
The owner of the app where women make the first move has in recent months benefited from a pullback in the U.S. dollar and new features such as "Compliments", which allows users to engage with each other before they decide to connect by sending a note.
Chief Executive Whitney Herd said the company plans to try out several new paid features later in the year, including virtual gift offering and the ability to add stickers.
Bumble forecast 2023 revenue growth between 16% and 19%, the midpoint of which was higher than analysts' estimates of 16.97%, according to Refinitiv data. Its first-quarter outlook was also broadly in line with estimates.
The projections contrasted with earnings from rival Match Group Inc MTCH.O, which forecast first-quarter revenue below expectations after poor product execution at Tinder drove the company's first ever quarterly decline.
Still, the earnings report showed parts of Bumble's business were struggling with the deteriorating economy and impact of the nearly one-year-long Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Revenue at Badoo and its other apps, which accounts for nearly one-fifth of the total, fell 11.9% to $50.8 million. The company also said it expects paying users will continue to drop at Badoo - which has a more economically sensitive user base and has a large presence in Western Europe.
In the last three months of 2022, Bumble's total paying users increased to 3.4 million from 3 million a year earlier.
Revenue was $241.6 million, compared with analysts' estimate of $235.9 million, according to Refinitiv data.
Quarterly net loss widened to $159.2 million, or 85 cents per share, from $13.9 million, or 7 cents per share, a year earlier.
Reporting by Samrhitha Arunasalam and Vansh Agarwal in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri
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