Worldline takes 1.15 billion-euro hit from merchant services write down

FRENCH fee firm Worldline on Wednesday (Feb 28) posted a 6 per cent rise in full-year income, however reported a internet loss group share after it took a 1.15 billion euros (S$1.7 billion) “goodwill impairment” linked to its service provider companies actions.

Worldline, which processes digital funds for shoppers starting from retailers to authorities companies, reported a internet loss group share of 817 million euros for 2023, in contrast with a 211 million euros revenue a yr earlier.

“Net income Group share from continued operations was…mainly impacted by the 1.15 billion euros goodwill impairment mostly materialized in Merchant Services, based on conservative assumptions reflecting the change in valuation paradigm in the payments’ Industry,” Worldline mentioned in a press release.

The impairment is non-cash and is linked to “the evolution of sector values and the stricter application of technical parameters in the accounting and non-cash valuation of our assets”, CFO Grégory Lambertie mentioned in a name with journalists.

Lambertie added that, adjusted for non-recurring objects, internet earnings group share was “relatively stable” in comparison with 2022, and that the impairment “has absolutely nothing to do with the German subject”.

Worldline’s market capitalisation fell by greater than half in October, sending ripples throughout the sector, after it minimize its full-year monetary targets, citing the financial slowdown and heightened scrutiny over money-laundering dangers in Germany.

CEO Gilles Grapinet mentioned the group was nonetheless in search of a brand new chairperson following the loss of life of Bernard Bourigeaud in late 2023, and that this new chair must be recognized earlier than the top of March. He added that Worldline intends minimize the composition of its Board of Directors to a most of 15 members, together with two worker administrators.

The group additionally mentioned it generated income of 4.61 million euros, in keeping with analysts expectations, in line with an organization supplied consensus. For 2024, it now targets natural income development of a minimum of 3 per cent, adjusted EBITDA of a minimum of 1.17 billion euros and FCF of a minimum of 230 million euros. REUTERS