BuzzFeed, Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2022 Financial Results

Delivered Q4 Results in line with November outlook

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BuzzFeed, Inc. (“BuzzFeed” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: BZFD), a premier digital media company for the most diverse, most online, and most socially engaged generations the world has ever seen, today announced financial results for the full year and fourth quarter ended December 31, 2022.

“There’s no denying that 2022 was a tough year for digital media. The challenges we faced in Q4 are also impacting us in Q1 2023, and it is clear we have more work to do to realize the full potential of our combined brand portfolio,” said Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed Founder & CEO. “As we work to address these challenges, our value proposition continues to resonate strongly in the marketplace. With iconic brands, a massive audience and a differentiated technology platform, we occupy a unique position in the ecosystem of audiences, creators, platforms and advertisers. And, our work in the exciting new areas of creators and artificial intelligence are continuing to lead the way in defining the future of media.”

Full-Year 2022 Financial and Operational Highlights1

  • Including Complex Networks in the 2022 results, BuzzFeed delivered full year revenues of $436.7 million, growing 10% compared to 2021

    • Advertising revenue, consisting of payments we receive from advertisers for ads distributed against our editorial and news content, including display and pre-roll, was approximately flat at $202.8 million
    • Content revenue, consisting of payments received from clients for custom assets, including both short-form and long-form ranging from branded quizzes to Instagram takeovers to feature films and content licensing, grew 27% year-over-year to $165.8 million
    • Commerce and other revenues, which includes affiliate marketplace, product licensing and events revenue, grew 11% year-over-year to $68.1 million
  • Net loss was $201.3 million, including a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $102.3 million, compared to net income of $25.9 million in 2021
  • Adjusted EBITDA2 was $0.5 million, compared to Adjusted EBITDA of $41.5 million in 2021
  • Growth in Time Spent on our owned and operated properties was more than offset by declines on third-party platforms, resulting in a 21% decline in overall Time Spent, to 624 million hours.
  • BuzzFeed ended the year with cash and cash equivalents of approximately $56 million. As of March 10, 2023, the majority of the Company’s cash and cash equivalents balance were held at Silicon Valley Bank. However, in a joint statement released by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the U.S. government reassured that all depositors will be fully protected. The Company is accessing its funds and does not currently anticipate any disruption to its ongoing operations.

_________________________________

1
2021 actual results include Complex Networks as of December 2021.

2 Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure. Please refer to “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below for a description of how it is calculated and the tables at the back of this earnings release for a reconciliation of our GAAP and non-GAAP results.

Fourth Quarter 2022 Financial and Operational Highlights1

  • Including Complex Networks in the 2022 results, BuzzFeed delivered Q4 revenues of $134.6 million, declining 8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2021

    • Advertising revenue declined 27% year-over-year to $50.5 million
    • Content revenue declined 9% year-over-year to $54.8 million
    • Commerce and other revenues grew 76% year-over-year to $29.3 million
  • Net loss was $106.2 million, including a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $102.3 million, compared to a net income of $41.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2021
  • Adjusted EBITDA2 was $17.6 million, compared to Adjusted EBITDA of $34.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2021
  • Growth in Time Spent on our owned and operated properties was more than offset by declines on third-party platforms, resulting in a 27% decline in overall Time Spent, to 135 million hours.

First Quarter 2023 Financial Outlook

For the first quarter of 2023:

  • We expect overall revenues in the range of $61 to $67 million
  • We expect Adjusted EBITDA losses in the range of $18 to $25 million

These statements are forward-looking and actual results may differ materially as a result of many factors. Refer to “Forward-Looking Statements” below for information on factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements.

Please see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below for a description of how Adjusted EBITDA is calculated. While Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure, we have not provided guidance for the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure — net (loss) income — due to the inherent difficulty in forecasting and quantifying certain amounts that are necessary to forecast such measure. Accordingly, a reconciliation of non-GAAP guidance for Adjusted EBITDA to the corresponding GAAP measure is not available.

Quarterly Conference Call

BuzzFeed’s management team will hold a conference call to discuss our fourth quarter and full year 2022 results today, March 13, at 5PM ET. The call will be available via webcast at investors.buzzfeed.com under the heading News & Events. To participate via telephone, please dial 833-634-1260 (toll-free) or 412-317-6021 (international) and ask to join the BuzzFeed, Inc. call. A replay of the call will be made available at the same URL.

We have used, and intend to continue to use, the Investor Relations section of our website at https://investors.buzzfeed.com as a means of disclosing material nonpublic information and for complying with our disclosure obligations under Regulation FD.

Definitions

BuzzFeed reports revenues across three primary business lines: Advertising, Content and Commerce and other. The definition of “Time Spent” is also set forth below.

  • Advertising revenues consist primarily of payments we receive from advertisers for ads distributed against our editorial and news content, including display, pre-roll and mid-roll video products sold directly to brands and also programmatically. We distribute these ad products across our owned and operated sites as well as third-party platforms, primarily Facebook, YouTube, and Apple News.
  • Content revenues consist primarily of payments received from clients for custom assets, including both long-form and short-form content, from branded quizzes to Instagram takeovers to sponsored content. Revenues for film and TV projects produced by BuzzFeed Studios and Complex Networks are also included here.
  • Commerce and other revenues consist primarily of affiliate commissions earned on transactions initiated from our editorial shopping content. Revenues from our product licensing businesses are also included here. Additionally, we generate other revenues from the production of live and virtual events such as ComplexCon and ComplexLand.
  • Time Spent captures the time audiences spend engaging with our content across our owned and operated sites, as well as YouTube and Apple News, as measured by Comscore, and on Facebook, as reported by Facebook. This metric excludes time spent with our content on platforms for which we do not have advertising capabilities that materially contribute to our Advertising revenues, including TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. There are inherent challenges in measuring the total actual number of hours spent with our content across all platforms; however, we consider the data reported by Comscore and Facebook to represent industry-standard estimates of the time actually spent on our largest distribution platforms with our most significant monetization opportunities.

About BuzzFeed, Inc.

BuzzFeed, Inc. is home to the best of the internet. Across food, news, pop culture and commerce, our brands drive conversation and inspire what audiences watch, read, and buy now, and into the future. Born on the internet in 2006, BuzzFeed, Inc. is committed to making it better: providing trusted, quality, brand-safe news and entertainment to hundreds of millions of people; making content on the internet more inclusive, empathetic, and creative; and inspiring our audience to live better lives.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin are non-GAAP financial measures and represent key metrics used by management and our board of directors to measure the operational strength and performance of our business, to establish budgets, and to develop operational goals for managing our business. We define Adjusted EBITDA as net (loss) income, excluding the impact of net (loss) income attributable to noncontrolling interests, income tax (benefit) provision, interest expense, net, other (income) expense, net, depreciation and amortization, stock-based compensation, change in fair value of warrant liabilities, change in fair value of derivative liability, restructuring costs, impairment expense, transaction-related costs, certain litigation costs, public company readiness costs, and other non-cash and non-recurring items that management believes are not indicative of ongoing operations. Adjusted EBITDA margin is calculated by dividing Adjusted EBITDA by revenue for the same period.

We believe Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin are relevant and useful information for investors because they allow investors to view performance in a manner similar to the method used by our management. There are limitations to the use of Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin and our Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. Other companies, including companies in our industry, may calculate non-GAAP financial measures differently than we do, limiting the usefulness of those measures for comparative purposes.

Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin should not be considered a substitute for measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable financial results as determined in accordance with GAAP are included at the end of this press release following the accompanying financial data.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Our forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our management team’s expectations, hopes, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future. In addition, any statements that refer to projections, forecasts (including our outlook for Q1 2023) or other characterizations of future events or circumstances, including any underlying assumptions, are forward-looking statements. The words “anticipate,” “affect,” “believe,” “can,” “contemplate,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “seek,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements, but the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. Forward-looking statements may include, for example, statements about: (1) anticipated trends, growth rates, and challenges in our business and in the markets in which we operate; (2) demand for products and services and changes in traffic; (3) changes in the business and competitive environment in which we operate; (4) developments and projections relating to our competitors and the digital media industry; (5) the impact of national and local economic and other conditions and developments in technology, each of which could influence the levels (rate and volume) of our advertising, the growth of our business and the implementation of our strategic initiatives; (6) poor quality broadband infrastructure in certain markets; (7) technological developments including artificial intelligence; (8) our success in retaining or recruiting, or changes required in, officers, key employees or directors; (9) our business, operations and financial performance, including expectations with respect to our financial and business performance, including financial projections and business metrics and any underlying assumptions thereunder and future business plans and initiatives and growth opportunities; (10) our future capital requirements and sources and uses of cash, including, but not limited to, our ability to obtain additional capital in the future in a higher interest rate environment and any impacts of bank failures or any restrictions on our ability to access our cash and cash equivalents; (11) expectations regarding future acquisitions, partnerships or other relationships with third parties; (12) developments in the law and government regulation, including, but not limited to, revised foreign content and ownership regulations; (13) the anticipated impacts of current global supply chain disruptions, further escalation of tensions between Russia and Western countries and the related sanctions and geopolitical tensions, as well as further escalation of trade tensions between the United States and China; the inflationary environment; the tight labor market; the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and evolving strains of COVID-19; and other macroeconomic factors on our business and the actions we may take in the future in response thereto; and (14) our ability to maintain the listing of our Class A common stock and warrants on the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC.

The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects on us. There can be no assurance that future developments affecting us will be those that we have anticipated. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond our control) or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those factors described under the sections entitled “Risk Factors” in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any of our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary in material respects from those projected in these forward-looking statements. There may be additional risks that we consider immaterial or which are unknown. It is not possible to predict or identify all such risks. We do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.

BUZZFEED, INC.

Financial Highlights

(Unaudited)

 
Three Months Ended
December 31,
Year Ended
December 31,
 
USD in thousands

2022

2021

% Change

2022

2021

% Change
Advertising

$

50,534

$

69,101

(27%)

$

202,830

$

205,794

(1%)

Content

 

54,771

 

59,939

(9%)

 

165,750

 

130,200

27%

Commerce and other

 

29,318

 

16,676

76%

 

68,094

 

61,570

11%

Total revenue

$

134,623

$

145,716

(8%)

$

436,674

$

397,564

10%

Loss from operations

$

(106,036)

$

(7,337)

NM

$

(184,307)

$

(25,154)

NM

Net (loss) income

$

(106,186)

$

41,572

NM

$

(201,326)

$

25,876

NM

Adjusted EBITDA

$

17,555

$

34,209

(49%)

$

488

$

41,516

(99%)

 
NM: not meaningful

BUZZFEED, INC.

Consolidated Balance Sheets

(Unaudited)

 
USD in thousands December 31,
2022
December 31,
2021
Assets
Current assets
Cash and cash equivalents

$

55,774

 

$

79,733

 

Accounts receivable (net of allowance for doubtful accounts of $1,879, and $1,094 as at December 31, 2022 and 2021)

 

116,460

 

 

142,909

 

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

 

26,373

 

 

29,017

 

Total current assets

 

198,607

 

 

251,659

 

Property and equipment, net

 

17,774

 

 

23,052

 

Right-of-use assets

 

66,581

 

 

 

Capitalized software costs, net

 

19,259

 

 

16,554

 

Intangible assets, net

 

121,329

 

 

136,513

 

Goodwill

 

91,632

 

 

194,881

 

Prepaid expenses and other assets

 

14,790

 

 

14,555

 

Total assets

$

529,972

 

$

637,214

 

 
Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity
Current liabilities
Accounts payable

$

29,329

 

$

16,025

 

Accrued expenses

 

26,357

 

 

31,386

 

Deferred rent

 

 

 

4,894

 

Deferred revenue

 

8,836

 

 

1,676

 

Accrued compensation

 

31,052

 

 

37,434

 

Current lease liabilities

 

23,398

 

 

 

Other current liabilities

 

3,900

 

 

2,731

 

Total current liabilities

 

122,872

 

 

94,146

 

Deferred rent

 

 

 

12,504

 

Noncurrent lease liabilities

 

59,315

 

 

 

Debt

 

152,253

 

 

141,878

 

Derivative liability

 

180

 

 

4,875

 

Warrant liabilities

 

395

 

 

4,938

 

Other liabilities

 

403

 

 

3,992

 

Total liabilities

 

335,418

 

 

262,333

 

 
Commitments and contingencies

 

 

 

 

 
Redeemable noncontrolling interest

 

 

 

2,294

 

 
Stockholders’ equity
Class A Common stock, $0.0001 par value; 700,000 shares authorized; 126,387 and 116,175 shares issued and outstanding at December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively

 

13

 

 

11

 

Class B Common stock, $0.0001 par value; 20,000 shares authorized; 6,678 and 12,397 shares issued and outstanding at December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively

 

1

 

 

1

 

Class C Common stock, $0.0001 par value; 10,000 shares authorized; 6,478 shares issued and outstanding at December 31, 2022 and 2021

 

1

 

 

1

 

Additional paid-in capital

 

716,233

 

 

695,869

 

Accumulated deficit

 

(523,063

)

 

(322,106

)

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

 

(1,968

)

 

(3,233

)

Total BuzzFeed, Inc. stockholders’ equity

 

191,217

 

 

370,543

 

Noncontrolling interests

 

3,337

 

 

2,044

 

Total stockholders’ equity

 

194,554

 

 

372,587

 

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

$

529,972

 

$

637,214

 

BUZZFEED, INC.

Consolidated Statements of Operations

(Unaudited)

 
Three Months Ended
December 31,
Year Ended
December 31,
 
USD in thousands

2022

2021

2022

2021

Revenue

$

134,623

 

$

145,716

 

$

436,674

 

$

397,564

 

Costs and Expenses
Cost of revenue, excluding depreciation and amortization

 

78,479

 

 

71,494

 

 

261,815

 

 

207,397

 

Sales and marketing

 

18,454

 

 

20,811

 

 

71,262

 

 

54,981

 

General and administrative

 

25,353

 

 

47,278

 

 

117,734

 

 

112,552

 

Research and development

 

7,252

 

 

5,643

 

 

30,597

 

 

24,928

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

8,781

 

 

7,827

 

 

35,073

 

 

22,860

 

Impairment expense

 

102,340

 

 

 

 

104,500

 

 

 

Total costs and expenses

 

240,659

 

 

153,053

 

 

620,981

 

 

422,718

 

(Loss) income from operations

 

(106,036

)

 

(7,337

)

 

(184,307

)

 

(25,154

)

Other income (expense), net

 

2,254

 

 

(2,223

)

 

(3,076

)

 

(3,974

)

Interest expense, net

 

(6,163

)

 

(1,746

)

 

(21,155

)

 

(2,885

)

Change in fair value of warrant liabilities

 

1,579

 

 

4,740

 

 

4,543

 

 

4,740

 

Change in fair value of derivative liability

 

1,170

 

 

26,745

 

 

4,695

 

 

26,745

 

(Loss) income before income taxes

 

(107,196

)

 

20,179

 

 

(199,300

)

 

(528

)

Income tax (benefit) provision

 

(1,010

)

 

(21,393

)

 

2,026

 

 

(26,404

)

Net (loss) income

 

(106,186

)

 

41,572

 

 

(201,326

)

 

25,876

 

Net income attributable to the redeemable noncontrolling interest

 

 

 

724

 

 

164

 

 

936

 

Net (loss) income attributable to noncontrolling interests

 

(744

)

 

401

 

 

(533

)

 

228

 

Net (loss) income attributable to BuzzFeed, Inc.

$

(105,442

)

$

40,447

 

$

(200,957

)

$

24,712

 

Net (loss) income attributable to holders of Class A, Class B and Class C common stock:
Basic

$

(105,442

)

$

316

 

$

(200,957

)

$

 

Diluted

$

(105,442

)

$

 

$

(200,957

)

$

(716

)

Net (loss) income per Class A, Class B and Class C common share:
Basic

$

(0.75

)

$

0.01

 

$

(1.45

)

$

 

Diluted

$

(0.75

)

$

 

$

(1.45

)

$

(0.03

)

Weighted average common shares outstanding:
Basic

 

139,685

 

 

55,487

 

 

138,148

 

 

27,048

 

Diluted

 

139,685

 

 

59,270

 

 

138,148

 

 

28,001

 

BUZZFEED, INC.

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows

(Unaudited)

 
For the Year Ended December 31,
USD in thousands

2022

2021

2020

Operating activities:
Net (loss) income

$

(201,326

)

$

25,876

 

$

11,156

 

Adjustments to reconcile net (loss) income to net cash used in operating activities:
Depreciation and amortization

 

35,073

 

 

22,860

 

 

17,486

 

Unrealized loss (gain) on foreign currency

 

5,389

 

 

1,824

 

 

(2,623

)

Stock based compensation

 

21,605

 

 

23,565

 

 

1,189

 

Change in fair value of warrants

 

(4,543

)

 

(4,740

)

 

 

Change in fair value of derivative liability

 

(4,695

)

 

(26,745

)

 

 

Issuance costs allocated to derivative liability

 

 

 

1,424

 

 

 

Amortization of debt discount and deferred issuance costs

 

5,375

 

 

326

 

 

 

Deferred income tax

 

(1,594

)

 

(28,087

)

 

112

 

Loss on disposition of subsidiaries

 

 

 

1,234

 

 

711

 

(Gain) loss on disposition of assets

 

(500

)

 

220

 

 

254

 

Loss on extinguishment of debt

 

 

 

 

 

600

 

Unrealized gain on investment

 

(1,260

)

 

 

 

(500

)

Provision for doubtful accounts

 

785

 

 

(161

)

 

322

 

Impairment expense

 

104,500

 

 

 

 

 

Noncash lease expense

 

19,870

 

 

 

 

 

Changes in operating assets and liabilities:

 

 

 

 

Accounts receivable

 

23,941

 

 

(12,951

)

 

(7,086

)

Prepaid expenses and other current assets and prepaid expenses and other assets

 

2,540

 

 

2,361

 

 

2,537

 

Accounts payable

 

11,582

 

 

3,546

 

 

(1,521

)

Deferred rent

 

 

 

(4,456

)

 

397

 

Accrued compensation

 

(5,663

)

 

2,307

 

 

1,429

 

Accrued expenses, other current liabilities and other liabilities

 

(2,841

)

 

(1,847

)

 

2,086

 

Lease liabilities

 

(23,249

)

 

 

 

 

Deferred revenue

 

7,154

 

 

(5,759

)

 

1,004

 

Cash (used in) provided by operating activities

 

(7,857

)

 

797

 

 

27,553

 

 
Investing activities:
Business acquisitions, net of cash acquired

 

 

 

(189,885

)

 

 

Capital expenditures

 

(5,424

)

 

(4,983

)

 

(4,708

)

Capitalization of internal-use software

 

(12,361

)

 

(11,039

)

 

(9,830

)

Proceeds from sale of asset

 

500

 

 

 

 

 

Cash of disposed subsidiaries, less proceeds on disposition

 

 

 

(2,121

)

 

(265

)

Cash used in investing activities

 

(17,285

)

 

(208,028

)

 

(14,803

)

 
Financing activities:
Proceeds from reverse recapitalization, net of costs

 

 

 

(11,652

)

 

 

Proceeds from issuance of common stock

 

 

 

35,000

 

 

 

Payment for shares withheld for employee taxes

 

(1,698

)

 

 

 

 

Deferred reverse recapitalization costs

 

(585

)

 

 

 

 

Proceeds from issuance of convertible notes, net of issuance costs

 

 

 

143,806

 

 

 

Proceeds from exercise of stock options

 

459

 

 

6,975

 

 

159

 

Borrowings from revolving credit facility

 

5,000

 

 

9,000

 

 

19,896

 

Payments on revolving credit facility

 

 

 

(1,306

)

 

 

Borrowings from secured borrowing facility

 

 

 

 

 

217,382

 

Repayments on secured borrowing facility

 

 

 

 

 

(217,982

)

Cash provided by financing activities

 

3,176

 

 

181,823

 

 

19,455

 

Effect of currency translation on cash and cash equivalents

 

(1,993

)

 

(985

)

 

(103

)

Net (decrease) increase in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash

 

(23,959

)

 

(26,393

)

 

32,102

 

Cash, cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash at beginning of year

 

79,733

 

 

106,126

 

 

74,024

 

Cash, cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash at end of year

$

55,774

 

$

79,733

 

$

106,126

 

BUZZFEED, INC.

Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP

(Unaudited)

 
Three Months Ended
December 31,
Year Ended
December 31,
 
USD in thousands

2022

2021

2022

2021

Net (loss) income

$

(106,186

)

$

41,572

 

$

(201,326

)

$

25,876

 

Income tax (benefit) provision

 

(1,010

)

 

(21,393

)

 

2,026

 

 

(26,404

)

Interest expense, net

 

6,163

 

 

1,746

 

 

21,155

 

 

2,885

 

Other (income) expense, net

 

(2,254

)

 

2,223

 

 

3,076

 

 

3,974

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

8,781

 

 

7,827

 

 

35,073

 

 

22,860

 

Stock-based compensation

 

2,745

 

 

22,715

 

 

21,605

 

 

23,565

 

Change in fair value of warrant liabilities

 

(1,579

)

 

(4,740

)

 

(4,543

)

 

(4,740

)

Change in fair value of derivative liability

 

(1,170

)

 

(26,745

)

 

(4,695

)

 

(26,745

)

Restructuring1

 

9,725

 

 

 

 

15,043

 

 

3,645

 

Impairment expense2

 

102,340

 

 

 

 

104,500

 

 

 

Transaction costs3

 

 

 

9,699

 

 

5,132

 

 

15,295

 

Litigation costs4

 

 

 

 

 

1,920

 

 

 

Public company readiness costs5

 

 

 

1,305

 

 

1,522

 

 

1,305

 

Adjusted EBITDA

$

17,555

 

$

34,209

 

$

488

 

$

41,516

 

Adjusted EBITDA margin

 

13

%

 

23

%

 

0

%

 

10

%

Net (loss) income as a percentage of revenue6

 

(79

%)

 

29

%

 

(46

%)

 

7

%

Contacts

Media Contact
Carole Robinson, BuzzFeed: carole.robinson@buzzfeed.com

Investor Relations Contact
Amita Tomkoria, BuzzFeed: investors@buzzfeed.com

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