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Business-focused German-language social network Xing saw its finances and user base grow in 2017’s first half, powered by a local focus in Germany, Austria and Switzerland that it believes keeps its more global-minded competitor LinkedIn at bay.
Xing’s total revenues jumped 22% year over year in the first six months of 2017 to €86 million ($95.1 million), helped by double-digit revenue gains across its three business segments.
The company’s business-to-consumer (B2C) segment, which includes income from premium subscription plans, was responsible for nearly half of total revenues, raking in €41.6 million ($46.0 million) for a 12% year-over-year revenue increase. Xing’s business-to-business (B2B) erecruiting unit saw revenues climb 39% to €35.1 million ($38.8 million), while its B2B advertising and events segment achieved a 22% gain to €7.5 million ($8.3 million).
Those results helped boost the company’s profit 19% to €13.1 million ($14.5 million) for 2017’s first half, continuing a positive performance recorded by Xing in 2016, when profits surged 34% to €11.7 million ($13.0 million).
“The first half of this fiscal year was the most successful in the history of Xing,” said CEO Thomas Vollmoeller. “We were able to achieve these growth figures by consistently heeding the needs of our members and business customers.”
The company said it added more than 1 million new users in the first half of the year, bringing its member total to nearly 12.5 million across Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and to 13.2 million users in all. Its paid user base in Germany, Austria and Switzerland rose to more than 970,000 in the first half.
Xing claims to be the largest business-focused social network in Europe’s three majority German-speaking countries. It’s a boast that’s likely true, considering LinkedIn’s most recent user stats show it having just over 10 million users in Germany, Austria and Switzerland combined—a figure approximately that of its user base in Italy alone.
Past studies have appeared to back Xing’s assertion as well. A May 2016 study of internet users in Germany by ARD/ZDF-Medienkommission and GfK Media & Communication Research found that while the reach of both sites was small, the share that used Xing at least weekly was around twice that for LinkedIn.
Likewise, an April 2016 study by Gesellschaft für integrierte Kommunikationsforschung (GIK) also found the share of users in Germany ages 14 and older, who used Xing once a month or more, was about double the rate who said the same for LinkedIn.
Xing noted in its financial results that it had taken steps this year to boost its user engagement—for example, by launching a flagship video podcast featuring well-known German-speaking business guests and offering additional video content created by other industry insiders.
“The fact of the matter is that, for most people, professional life is a local matter: local jobs, tips, employees, contacts,” said Vollmoeller. “Local goes before global. Not only are people’s needs highly diverse, but also the conditions of job markets in different countries. And these days, in the German-speaking world, having a Xing profile has become a matter of course.”
The company has also been busy with acquisitions. In July 2017, the company announced the purchase of Munich-based InterNations, a meetup-style social networking and offline activities site for international expats in 390 cities worldwide, in a deal worth around €10 million ($11.1 million). That same week, it bought Vienna-based applicant tracking system provider Prescreen for €17 million ($18.8 million).
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