“We are seeing years of economic transformation jammed into weeks or months,” Tucows CEO Elliot Noss says.
Domain name, fiber and mobile company Tucows (NASDAQ: TCX) reported earnings after the bell today.
The company pulled in $84.0 million in revenue for the first year of 2020, up 6% year-over-year. Its adjusted EBITDA number soared 34% to $12.7 million and net cash from operating activities was up 57% to $14.1 million.
Tucows’ Domain Services segment accounted for $59.5 million revenue, up from $55.7 million a year ago. Its gross margin in the Wholesale domain business increased 20%.
The Ascio acquisition helped bolster these numbers.
Tucows even had a good quarter for selling domains from its surname portfolio ($409,000), which is all that remains of its owned-and-operating domain portfolio after selling the rest to GoDaddy. The company offers email addresses using its surname domains but sometimes sells the names.
Beyond the numbers, it’s worth reading Tucows’ report on the quarter (pdf). Tucows CEO Elliot Noss does a great job explaining what he sees happening in the world due to Covid-19.
On domain names:
The domains business has seen the most remarkable immediate impact, which will not really show up until the second quarter. New domain registrations are way up in the past month or so. We are seeing first-hand the rush for offline businesses to market, transact and fulfill online. We are seeing years of economic transformation jammed into weeks or months…
…In the last few weeks we have seen a significant bump in transactions as businesses globally try to quickly move online, and as displaced workers look to entrepreneurship as the next stage in their career paths. We saw this begin to emerge in late March and it is still going strong. With tens of thousands of resellers and millions of end user customers, our Domains business has proven resilient through several economic cycles, but we are seeing something singular in this current, unprecedented environment. It feels like years of change being crammed into weeks or months. This is more interesting for what it says about the economy than it is material to our business, as new registrations make up only 20% of total transactions historically.
On the economy and future:
…We are planning for the current circumstances, with minor variability, to persist for the foreseeable future. And we are planning accordingly. We are rethinking our installation practices, our marketing practices, our human resources practices, our product offerings and more; and in almost every case, we believe the changes we are making and will continue to make, are more or less permanent.
We believe this because we believe that the changes wrought by this pandemic are not new. Rather they are significant accelerations of previously existing trends.
So what are the changes that we believe we have some certainty about?
It seems obvious that work from home, a trend we were fortunate to be in front of, will greatly accelerate. This has implications not only for the amount of office space a company needs, but also the shape of that space. It also opens up the world as a source of talent. Thus a significant rethink in the way we approach technical talent, and in fact a rethink of all of our people practices.
There will be less business travel, and in fact travel of all types. I have travelled 10-12 weeks a year consistently for the last twenty years. I will never travel that much in a year again. The whole retail, travel and hospitality industries are reconfiguring before our eyes and will never be the same.
We see equally significant and permanent changes in automotive and fashion. And combining those with retail, travel and hospitality, and the whole world of marketing as we knew it changes…
You can read Noss’ complete comments here (pdf).