Adtech vendor Criteo has bounced back and exceeded market expectations by revealing significant growth in its latest earnings report.
In the APAC region, which makes up 20% of Criteo's business, quarterly revenue grew by 23% to US$55 million while the region grew by 29% to US$211 million in the fiscal year, despite refocusing in China during mid-2017 to be more export-focused. The company's share price rose by 30% within 24 hours of the report's release.
Excluding traffic acquisition costs (TAC), the company expects to reach between US$230 million to US$235 million in the first quarter of 2018, with up to US$47 million coming from APAC.
According to Yvonne Chang, Criteo APAC executive MD, the company's strong growth was due to small and medium enterprises & advertiser, as well as the fast growth in Japan.
"Southeast Asia and India also supported the growth, as well as strong in-app revenues across the entire region due to an exponential increase in smartphone penetration," she said. "APAC is currently the world’s largest retail e-commerce market, we are confident in potential opportunities in the region.”
It paints a far more positive picture than Criteo's Q3 2017 report, where within hours of publishing the firm's shares tumbled by 26% after it revealed an expected US$20 million loss from Apple's Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) update in Safari.
As an adtech firm that specialises in retargeting ads at prospective shoppers, Criteo's effectiveness following updates in Apple's iOS11 and the forthcoming implementation of the GDPR in Europe had led analysts to speculate the business was in for a tough 2018.
Addressing those concerns, Criteo undertook drastic technology improvements such as the Shopper Graph, which includes tools such as Identify Graph, Interest Map, and Measurement Network.
With over a billion users worldwide, the Identify Graph boasts non-identifiable information that can match a single individual across respective devices.
Criteo also increased its publisher network from 1,000 to 1,500. Excluding TAC, the newly launched Audience Match tool contributed US$3 million in revenue.
Q2 2018 Outlook
As a business positioned around retargeting, Criteo relies on cookies to track prospective shoppers.
With Apple's ITP in effect since September 2017 and the GDPR being implemented from May this year, adtech businesses have actively sought a workaround to keep relevant revenue sources stable.
A Criteo spokesperson in Singapore told Campaign Asia-Pacific that both ITP and GDPR are areas are of little concern, stating that the bottleneck represented by the former represents a fraction of Criteo's reach, while the latter applies only to businesses that obtain sensitive and personal data from users, adding that Criteo's data is anonymised.