UK’s Worldpay misses revenue on weak US business

The industry has become extremely competitive in recent years as payments are increasingly routed electronically, including through cards and mobile wallets.

By: Reuters | Published:March 7, 2017 4:11 pm

British payment processor Worldpay Group Plc on Tuesday said revenue for the full year was lower than expected, hurt by weakness in its US business. Worldpay, which provides platforms to allow merchants to accept payments by cards and other methods, said its performance in the US was “subdued” with second-half revenue being softer than anticipated.

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The industry has become extremely competitive in recent years as payments are increasingly routed electronically, including through cards and mobile wallets. Net revenue from its US business, which accounts for more than a quarter of the company’s revenue, rose 15.5 percent to $299 million, though average transaction value was down 2.2 percent at $39.50.

“Worldpay is struggling in the US… As a result, the whole group’s profitability is under pressure,” Richard-Maxime Beaudoux, an analyst at Brian Granier & Co, wrote in a note. However, chief executive Philip Jansenn ruled out any plans to sell the US business. The company will continue to focus on small businesses and corporates and offer integrated payments through partnership sales, he told Reuters.

The payment processing industry in the US has seen some consolidation with Global Payments Inc buying smaller rival Heartland Payment Systems Inc for $4.3 billion last year to expand its merchant base. Worldpay also maintained its medium-term outlook for compound annual net revenue growth of 9 percent to 11 percent. Worldpay’s total transaction value in 2016 rose 11.6 percent to 451.1 billion pounds ($551.83 billion), as it processed 14.9 billion transactions, up from 13.1 billion a year earlier.

Global e-commerce payments revenue, which accounts for more than a third of Worldpay’s total, rose 21.7 percent to 386.6 million pounds, driven by new business wins and strength in its global retail and digital content units. Worldpay’s underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 15.1 percent to 467.6 million pounds for the year ended Dec. 31.

Analysts had expected underlying earnings of 374.64 million pounds, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The company’s net revenue rose 14.5 percent to 1.12 billion pounds, but missed analysts estimates of $1.13 billion. Worldpay’s shares fell as much as 4.4 percent to $263 in morning trading.

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