Dr. Stefan Gross-Selbeck on 01.03.2012 at 19:33h CET
Yesterday evening we published our provisional figures for the 2011 financial year (press release), and I’m really happy to announce that it was an excellent year with revenue growth across the board, e-Recruiting hitting the ten million euro mark, and new records for both revenues and operative results.
The Company’s overall revenues for the 2011 financial year increased by 22 percent to €66.2 million. We also achieved record operating results (EBITDA) of €22.2 million, which is 33 percent higher than 2010 and equates to an operating margin of 34 percent.
These excellent results can be attributed to every part of the platform. Revenues in e-Recruiting grew by 65 percent to €11.7 million while Advertising turned over €7.1 million, an increase of 35 percent. Our Events segment, whose revenues are generated by our subsidiary amiando, appears in the financial statements for the first time in the Company’s history and achieved revenues of €2.5 million. Our core business also made good progress with Premium membership revenues rising by seven percent to €45.6 million (2010: €42.4 million). We also want our shareholders to benefit from these excellent results, which is why we’ll be suggesting a shareholder dividend of around €0.56 per share at the next AGM. (more…)
Dr. Stefan Gross-Selbeck on 20.02.2012 at 21:54h CET
Today I joined a number of representatives from other European social networks at a meeting with the Vice President of the European Commission, Viviane Reding. The reason behind the meeting was the proposed reform of the EU’s data protection rules recently published by the Commission which is aimed at standardizing data protection legislation in Europe and introducing a number of changes to the status quo.
The main topic from my perspective was the introduction of a level playing field for everyone as the proposed reform clearly stipulates that anyone who offers services to users in Europe has to adhere to the same European data protection laws. This would be a major step forward from the current situation in the EU where each country has its own data protection legislation in place. This is compounded by the fact that a lot of non-European companies, particularly US-based businesses, claim that German data protection laws cannot be applied. This then leads to unfair competition as German providers are forced to comply with strict German legislation whereas American providers can be far more liberal in their approach, which in turn gives them a competitive edge. This is of course to the detriment of users who rely on these strict German data protection laws and are unfortunately not aware that they do not apply to providers based abroad. This needs to change, which is why I’m a clear supporter of the proposed reform put forward by the European Commission.
Having said that, several details still need to be clarified. The reform grants every user a “right to be forgotten”, for example, meaning that users can contact a provider and demand their data be permanently deleted. In principle this is a good thing, but the scope of this right is still unclear. Does it mean that users can demand to have blog posts, comments and other similar interaction deleted as well? That really doesn’t make much sense! Fortunately Ms. Reding proved to be very open to discussion and was more than willing to take our comments and concerns on board. We will of course maintain contact with her in order to monitor the situation.
There is still one fundamental problem that needs to be solved, and that is the matter of how data protection in Europe should be handled at grass-roots level. At the moment providers in Germany are not allowed to process data unless users provide their express consent. The proposed EU-wide legislation would not change this situation, which is known in Germany as “prohibition pending approval”. This principle applies to weapons handling and games of chance, for example, but can it also be applied to data processing? I don’t think so because data in the 21st century is a raw material that forms the basis of great products and services. Subjecting data processing to prohibition pending approval is an anachronism. Besides, a number of alternative concepts have already been discussed and put forward, so it’s time that political decision-makers take up the gauntlet and get involved!
As is customary between Christmas and New Year, things are fairly quiet here at Gaensemarkt in Hamburg. The public holidays are now behind us so it’s time to start looking forward to 2012. But before we do, I’d like to look back at what’s happened here at XING over the past twelve months.
I think I’d be going overboard if I tried to go into detail about all of the new features such as the lunch planner and MINI job ad we introduced in 2011, so I’ll stick to the highlights from our product strategy and the points I think are most interesting to you.
In June 2011 we overhauled our site by introducing a completely new layout that includes new interactions focusing primarily on network activity. Not only that, we also introduced the option to “like”, comment on, share and recommend content.
Just over a year ago we acquired amiando, a Munich-based company, in order to expand and simplify our activities in the events and ticketing segment. I’m very happy about the ongoing development of our PLUS events and the fact that amiando turned over more than ten million euros by the end of the third quarter.
In terms of innovation here at XING, we recently launched our Beta Labs – a platform hosting beta-stage projects that are developed at high speed and of interest to XING users who’d like to test drive them before they go mainstream. And let’s not forget that our API will be released in 2012. (more…)
Just after noon on November 18, 2006, OpenBC became XING and anyone who tried to access the OpenBC website was automatically redirected to XING.com. But it wasn’t just the name that changed three years after OpenBC’s launch; the entire platform was redesigned from the ground up.
A lot has happened in the five years since then, and the changes don’t just apply to the design or technology. When OpenBC became XING, the company (which continued to trade under the OpenBC for a while) had 70 employees and around 1.5 million members. As things stand today in November 2011, XING has 420 employees and over 11.4 million members, which represents huge growth both in terms of the company itself and its member base. The following screenshot illustrates how XING used to look when it went live back in 2006.
So November 18, 2006, was a major milestone in the company’s history and reason enough for us all to take a moment to reflect on the past. We’re always really happy to meet people at XING events who tell us that they’ve been with us “since it was OpenBC”. On that note I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone involved in making sure XING remains a success.
Dr. Stefan Gross-Selbeck on 15.11.2011 at 19:16h CET
Today we published our results for the third quarter of FY2011 (interim report Q3 [PDF], press release). This is the first reporting period since our relaunch in June and since XING was added to the TecDAX in August. The figures again underline the growth course seen in previous quarters.
Following the major overhaul of our platform in June we’ve been busy focusing on gradual improvements across the board, the result of which includes the MINI job ad or our new Sales membership. Both of these features are targeted at specific XING users and provide them with major benefits to make sure that we cater to specific member needs while also making general improvements that apply to every member.
This strategy is certainly paying dividends as XING continues to grow in every segment of the business. This applies in particular to the new sources of revenue, i.e. business models in place alongside the conventional Premium model. In our core market consisting of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (DACH), we saw member growth of 19%, meaning that we passed the 5-million-member mark there for the first time. The 5.1 million users we have in the DACH region are proof that we have the most members in those countries, and we intend to consolidate this position in the future. (more…)
Dr. Stefan Gross-Selbeck on 10.08.2011 at 11:34h CET
Today we published our figures for H1/2011 (press release) and, as usual, I’d like to give you a short update here in our blog. Overall, I’m happy to report that the last six months have been both positive and important for XING.
We continued the successful course set over the last few months, and this is also reflected in our figures for the period. Half-year revenues (excluding other operating income) of €31.6 million represent a 25% increase over the same period in 2010. Our operating result (EBITDA) rose by 60% to €11.3 million, while our operative business margin increased by eight percentage points to 35%. The bottom line shows a 95% increase in net profits, taking the total to €5.1 million. (more…)
Dr. Stefan Gross-Selbeck on 10.05.2011 at 17:46h CET
Today we published our results for the first quarter of 2011 (press release, report) which indicate that XING is developing very well. Our growth rates are linked to our strategy and show a 70 percent increase in EBITDA to €5.6 million, a 24 percent increase in revenues to €15.7 million, and 114 percent increase in profit to €1.26 million.
This growth goes hand in hand with a rise in revenues, particularly in terms of our vertical sources of revenue – “e-Recruiting” (i.e. XING Jobs and Recruiter Memberships), “Advertising” (e.g. banner advertising and Best Offers) and “New Verticals”, which also includes revenues from Events and our subsidiary amiando. Two thirds of our revenue growth are generated from these areas of the business. (more…)
Dr. Stefan Gross-Selbeck on 15.03.2011 at 11:13h CET
Japan is currently fighting on several fronts, with the massive after-effects of the earthquake, tsunami, and damage caused to the nuclear power plants all posing a real threat to the people of Japan, many of whom no longer have a home to go to.
To this end, we’ve teamed up with our charitable organization partner betterplace.org to offer you the opportunity to do your bit to alleviate this desperate situation. By pledging a donation, no matter how much or how little you can spare, you’ll be doing your bit to help. 100% of donation funds will be passed on to the German Red Cross who will then pass them on to the Japanese Red Cross.
The Japanese Red Cross has already deployed emergency rescue teams and medical experts charged with the task of rescuing people buried under rubble and treating casualties. The main threats at this time include burns, smoke inhalation, and pneumonia.
It’s really easy to make a donation, and you can do so anonymously if you prefer. 100% of donations will be forwarded by betterplace.org to make sure that your money helps the people who really need it.
Thank you very much for your donation – no matter how much or little you can spare!
Dr. Stefan Gross-Selbeck.
Dr. Stefan Gross-Selbeck on 01.03.2011 at 12:21h CET
After our last product offensive in September 2010 and a number of minor changes made on a weekly basis, we’re now taking a huge step forward by expanding our platform to revolutionize your business networking activity and communication. XING members are already the most active business networkers around, and now we’re giving you the tools to increase your networking activity even further.
Changes to the “What’s new in your network” feature
The changes we’re making are centered around the “What’s new in your network” feature that appears on your homepage. We introduced this “network stream” as an information box back in November 2007, and since that time it has become a kind of business network nexus for all users. Here you can see what’s going on in your network – from new contacts to event participations to group posts – and individually configure visibility settings to meet your personal needs, as is customary on XING.
From now on, both basic and Premium Members can comment on status updates, event participations, group posts, news and a wide range of other activities they or their contacts have posted. And now you can also“like” something someone has posted.
This gives you an opportunity to follow your contacts’ opinions, ideas and comments, and use joint discussions as a way of meeting and connecting with other experts right from your homepage. A new filter means that information can be presented in a list sorted by into the categories jobs, groups, events and status updates. And by ticking the box next to the Twitter icon you can post your status update or recommendation both on XING and as a tweet.
As mentioned above, XING takes the approach that users should always retain full control over their own data. So you decide who can see your posts and any subsequent discussions by either making them available to just your contacts or the entire XING network.
Activity tab in your profile
From now on, your profile has an activity tab listing all your activity on the platform. This summary of discussions and recommendations doubles up with the rest of your profile – which largely acts as a CV – to build your online reputation and is available to both basic and Premium Members.
As with the “What’s new in your network” feature, you can decide who sees what in your activity tab: The default setting is such that only your contacts can view your activity. You are of course free to edit this setting so that information from “What’s new in your network” is completely invisible or, inversely, available to everyone on XING.
Improved mobile web app and a new Android app
We’ve also launched the alpha version of our mobile web app. Just enter touch.xing.com in your mobile browser (see compatibility overview) to access the app which is just as user-friendly as the native apps. A new version of the Android app will appear in the Android Market today that includes a new and improved design, improved usability, the Mobile Handshake feature, and contacts’ birthdays.
I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved and would like to say thanks – not just to our developers and product managers who’ve been burning the midnight oil to make this all possible, but also to you and every other XING member out there. Our aim is to help you get ahead by providing you with features you want and need in your day-to-day business life. We will of course continue to improve XING’s products and services to make sure you get the most out of the platform.
I hope you enjoy the new features – happy networking!
Today we announced the introduction of a range of new features for our platform along with our preliminary figures for the 2010 financial year (press release). To put it simply, it was the best financial year in the company’s history / we’re more than happy with the results.
We achieved positive growth in all areas of the business with our new sources of revenue developing particularly well. In Advertising, revenues grew by 64% to 3.9 million euros, while e-recruiting revenues rose by 61% to 7.1 million euros. (more…)