Blog  •  February 22, 2023

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Honeypot Field to Catch Bots
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DFIN’s Earnings Report Spotlights Software Transformation

Donnelley Financial Solutions’ 4Q22 and FY22 earnings, released this week, showcase our progress in becoming a software-centric company. We are on track to meet our goal of deriving 55% to 60% of total sales from software by 2026.

For the full year, we achieved record software solutions net sales of $279.6 million. Software solutions net sales were nearly 34% of our full-year net sales, up from 27% in 2021 and just 14% in 2016, the year we were spun off from our parent company. Amazing progress.

Let’s focus on two products. ActiveDisclosure, purpose-built for SEC reporting for corporations, grew 14% in 2022, with our recurring subscription revenue base increasing 19% year-over-year, despite the negative impact of the IPO market. Notably, we made excellent progress transitioning customers from our legacy AD3 platform to new ActiveDisclosure. Through the end of 2022, only about 10% of our ongoing client base remains on legacy AD3. We expect to decommission legacy AD3 in the first half of 2023, after transitioning the remaining legacy customers.

Built on a modern security framework, new ActiveDisclosure was born in the cloud and reimagined from the ground up. It transforms financial and regulatory reporting with seamless integration, simple and fast onboarding, and an array of intelligent core tagging and filing tools.

Meanwhile, Venue, our virtual data room, delivered just under $100 million in net sales in 2022 — performing significantly better than its primary use case, M&A. Venue’s 2022 sales were nearly 40% higher compared with 2019 and 2020 sales of $71 million and $72 million, respectively. Given the higher levels of transactional activity in both 2019 and 2020, Venue’s growth is a testament to our sales execution, market share gains, and product investment.

For the entire company, our full-year 2022 Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBTIDA margin are each the second highest in our history, exceeded only by the record results in 2021 that were driven by a much more robust transactions environment. By improving our sales mix and managing our costs in a disciplined manner, DFIN has become fundamentally more profitable.

This is an important point. Strong profitability and robust cash flow generation enable us to increase organic investment in software development to drive growth. That’s the kind of virtuous cycle that will deliver value into the future.

As always, thanks to our clients for entrusting DFIN with their most important reporting and compliance responsibilities. And thanks to DFIN employees, whose passion, dedication, and creativity are second to none. They’re the best team in the business.

craig clay

Craig Clay

President of Global Capital Markets, DFIN