WGSN owner says revenue rises, but non-fashion is growth driver
Up-for-sale WGSN could have a new owner before the end of April. That’s the news from UK-based specialist information and analytics owner Ascential that earlier decided to offload the UK-based global trend forecasting, market intelligence and consumer insights business in January.
“We have seen potential buyers' positive reactions to the possibility of owning WGSN and expect the full sales process to commence in April,” confirmed Ascential’s CEO Duncan Painter, alongside its year-end results to 31 December 2022.
So how has WGSN been performing in that period? The digital subscriptions-based company, which claims over 6,500 customers in more than 90 countries via its Product Design segment, WGSN Start and its colour system Coloro, saw organic revenues in the period jump 12% year-on-year with reported sales up 17% to £107.1 million.
Adjusted EBITDA for the segment also rose 12% organic and by 19% reported to £49.1 million, with the adjusted EBITDA margin inching up to 46% from 45% a year ago.
Overall, the take-up of non-fashion products such as Consumer Insight, Beauty and, more recently, Consumer Tech, “continues to be the chief engine of growth, now accounting for over 46% of subscriptions”. Core Fashion products, meanwhile, grew 2%.
Ascential said subscription renewal rates have remained strong and “continued to grow in the year building on the post pandemic recovery we saw in 2021, now standing at record levels of over 95%. The business has also continued to maintain record high levels of NPS in the last two years, underlining the value of the information delivered to customers and the strength of its brand”.
It also said product innovation continues to be a key driver for the WGSN platform, with multiple new features launched in the year, including a central, personalised landing page for customers, deploying advanced technologies to locate content targeted to individual's roles, while promoting relevant content from platforms not yet included in customer's subscriptions.
Across the 12 months, it also staged five 'WGSN Live’ digital broadcasts, “connecting its experts with more than 10,000 individuals across the globe to learn more about topics ranging from sustainable circular product design to strategies for recession resilience”.
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