Storytel to cut 13 per cent of workforce in bid for increased profitability

Storytel, a leading audiobook streaming service, is reducing its workforce by 13 per cent to focus on profitability despite strong Q4 2023 revenues. The company is also cutting investments in underperforming markets.
Storytel to cut 13 per cent of workforce in bid for increased profitability

Publicly listed Storytel, a Stockholm-based provider of audiobook streaming services, is to shed 13 per cent of its workforce as the company scales back growth efforts and focuses on profitability.

Storytel CEO Johannes Larcher. Foto: Mattias Bardå/Storytel 2
Storytel CEO Johannes Larcher.

In a statement released by the company, this 13 per cent workforce reduction equates to approximately 80 team members departing the company, most with terminations effective immediately.

Up but down

While the company posted preliminary streaming revenues of approximately €75 million in Q4 2023, a figure representing a growth of approximately 15 per cent, with total group revenues increasing by 9 per cent to approximately €83.7 million, the company is placing an increased emphasis on profitability and the improvement of cash flow generation.

In so much, the company points to a reduction of investments in undisclosed markets, only noting that these properties are not performing as predicted and failing to generate sufficient revenues.

Impairment of goodwill

As a result, Storytel reports a Q4 2023 non-cash write-down of approximately €56 million, owing approximately €41 million of the write-down to an impairment of goodwill (a term that denotes an above-market acquisition price and subsequent decline in value of the purchased asset), a property Storytel acquired for $135 million from audiobook publisher RBMedia at the end of 2021.

Storytel CEO Johannes Larcher shared:

“Storytel is doing substantially better financially than a year ago, and we have chosen to increase our focus on profitability and enhanced cash flow generation beyond the previously outlined guidance. This has led us, amongst other measures, to the difficult decision to adjust the size of our team, resulting in 13 per cent of our total workforce leaving the company.”

Storytel is trading at €4.13 on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange this morning, up 29 per cent from Monday’s opening bell trading.

Lead image via Storytel/Mofibo. 25

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