Tinder owner to lay off 8% of its staff as growth falters

FILE PHOTO: The dating app Tinder is shown on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken September 1, 2020. Picture taken September 1, 2020. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) - Match Group Inc on Wednesday joined a growing list of U.S. companies that are cutting jobs to rein in costs after it announced plans to lay off about 8% of its workforce, or about 200 employees, as spending on its dating apps slows.

The company gave a lackluster quarterly revenue forecast a day earlier that it blamed on a tough economy, a strong dollar and "significant" poor product execution at Tinder. Product delays have also hit its Hinge app at a time when competition is rising from rival Bumble Inc.

The job cuts were mainly in areas such as recruiting, the company said in an email. The cuts have already taken place in the United States and are being implemented in other countries.

Match incurred about $3 million in severance and similar costs during the fourth quarter and said it was expecting additional costs of about $6 million in 2023. It said the moves would help improve margins in the second half of the year.

Shares of Texas-based Match were down 7.7%.

The layoffs come as other tech firms from Microsoft Corp to Amazon.com Inc shed tens of thousands of jobs to brace for a possible recession.

"In addition to the cuts, we expect Match to place greater emphasis on marketing its Tinder and Hinge brands, core areas of growth for 2023," CFRA Research analyst Angelo Zino said.

Match, which has primarily relied on word-of-mouth advertising, said Tinder will be launching its first global marketing campaign in the current quarter to improve brand perception.

It forecast first-quarter revenue between $790 million and $800 million, lower than analysts' estimates of $817.3 million, according to Refinitiv data. The company also reported its first-ever quarterly revenue decline.

Graphic: Match Group posts first-ever decline in quarterly revenue - https://www.reuters.com/graphics/MATCHGRP-RESULTS/lgvdknlldpo/chart.png

(Reporting by Vansh Agarwal and Shreyaa Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Anil D'Silva)

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