- First half revenue increased 31% year on year to USD 205 million, supported by a 43% rise in the total value of payments processed (TPV4)
- Strong trading in the UAE driven by growing consumer confidence and an increase in tourism
- Underlying EBITDA grew 26% to USD 76 million reflecting strong revenue growth, with profit for the period increasing 113% to USD 32 million
- Record new merchant signups included Chanel, Hilton Palm Jumeirah and Landmark Group, reflecting leading customer proposition
- Two new customer wins in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a healthy pipeline in place
- Direct-to-merchant services to launch in Egypt soon, revenue to build from 2023
- Financial guidance for the full year is reconfirmed with major markets seeing solid trading
- Share buyback programme launched worth up to USD100 million enabling the company to return value to shareholders
|Group Financial Summary (USD‘000)||H1 2022||H1 2021||y/y change|
|By geography3: Middle East||136,567||112,366||21.5%|
|By business line3: Merchant Solutions||101,791||66,505||53.1%|
|Network Merchant Solutions excl. DPO||86,541||66,505||30.1%|
|Underlying EBITDA margin1||37.2%||35.3%||190bps|
|Profit for the period||31,997||15,045||112.7%|
|Underlying free cash flow1||39,975||21,083||89.6%|
|Cash flow from operating activities||90,604||(11,277)||–|
1.This is an Alternative Performance Measure (APM). See the full H1 financial statements published at investors.networkinternational.ae for definitions. 2. DPO was acquired in Sept 2021 and no contribution is present in the H1 21 statutory financials base. Proforma 12-month H1 21 revenue and other information is provided in other parts of this release for information only. 3. Revenue by business line and geography does not include ‘Other revenue’ See the full H1 financial statements published at investors.networkinternational.ae for detail. 4. TPV – Total Processed Volumes – the aggregate monetary volume of purchases processed by the Group within its Merchant Solutions business line.
Network International Holdings Plc (LSE:NETW) (“Network” or the “Company”) today announced its interim financial results for the half year ended 30 June 2022.
Strong financial performance
Revenue for the period was up 31.1% to USD 205.0 million compared to the same period last year, with broad-based improvement across all regions and a USD 15 million contribution from newly acquired DPO Group. Revenues in the Middle East and Africa increased 21.5% and 55.8% respectively. The UAE, the company’s largest market, saw high growth in merchant payments processed from domestic consumers at 20% year on year, and payments from international visitors growing 92% year on year.
Underlying EBITDA increased 26.2% to USD 76.2 million in H1 2022, compared to the same period last year, supporting a healthy margin of 37.2%, up 190bps year on year. This reflects Network’s strong revenue performance and cost control, whilst it continued to invest in its product capabilities and future growth.
Profit for the period was USD 32.0 million, up 113% year on year, driven by EBITDA growth, a USD 2.2 million gain on the previously announced disposal of its subsidiary Mercury, as well as a benefit from foreign exchange translation movements.
Given Network’s healthy balance sheet and strong cash generation capabilities, with USD 81 million generated in underlying free cashflow for the twelve months to the 30 June 2022, the company announced its intention to commence a share buyback programme of up to USD100 million. The program enables the company to return value to its shareholders, whilst also retaining sufficient capital and balance sheet flexibility to invest in other growth opportunities.
Nandan Mer, Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“We are encouraged by the continued progress of our growth strategy, with another strong trading period delivering 31% y/y revenue growth. This is supported by the acceleration of digital payments growth across our markets, successful strategic execution and share gains in our home market of the UAE. Our market entry into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is also progressing well, having secured a second new customer this year. We also see an opportunity to return excess cash to shareholders through a share buyback programme, whilst retaining our existing flexibility to take advantage of additional growth opportunities which may arise. Overall, our performance in the first half underpins our outlook and guidance for the year ahead, which is reconfirmed. Whilst we remain conscious of rising global macroeconomic and inflationary pressures, we continue to see steady trading in our major markets.”
Record pace of new business wins
Merchant signups at record rates:
We have had a record period for new merchant sign ups, driven by the company’s focus on SMEs and innovative offerings such as automated onboarding, low cost ‘Tap on Phone’ payment acceptance and web-store services associated with ‘DPO Pay’. The company’s key new merchant wins during the period included Chanel, Hilton Palm Jumeirah, and Landmark Group in the UAE. In addition, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) extended its contract, rolling out Network’s proprietary N-GeniusTM payment terminals to the entire taxi fleet in Dubai.
Financial institution (FI) wins:
Network secured nine new customers in the period including Alain Finance PJSC, its first non-banking FI customer in the UAE.
Another customer secured in KSA, confident in new wins in the coming months
Network continues to make strong inroads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Company signed two financial institutions for Issuer Solutions processing services during the first half, demonstrating the attractiveness of its offering in the Kingdom. The company remains committed to building its business in KSA having fully completed its in-country technology deployment and established connectivities with domestic and international card schemes. Network’s pipeline of prospective clients continues to grow, instilling confidence in Network’s ability to attract new wins over the coming months. The Kingdom, a dynamic payments market, represents a cUSD50 million revenue opportunity for Network in the medium-long term.
Direct-to-merchant services to launch in Egypt soon
Egypt is a long established and successful processing services market for Network, where it will soon be launching direct-to-merchant payment services, focusing on the SME market segment. The deployment of the technology stack is complete and the Company expects merchant payment services to go live in the second half of 2022. Egypt is an exciting growth opportunity for Network, with the revenue opportunity expected to build from 2023 onwards.
Outlook for FY 2022 reconfirmed
Whilst Network is mindful of global macroeconomic challenges, its major markets continue to see solid trading conditions. Given the solid performance seen in the first half, financial guidance for the full year is reconfirmed, where we expect Group revenue growth of 27-29% y/y, with modest EBITDA margin expansion.
Forward Looking Statements
This announcement contains certain forward-looking statements with respect to the financial condition, results or operation and businesses of Network International Holdings Plc. Such statements and forecasts by their nature involve risks and uncertainty because they relate to future events and circumstances. There are a number of other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements, or industry results, to be materially different from those projected in the forward- looking statements.
These factors include general economic and business conditions; changes in technology; timing or delay in signing, commencement, implementation and performance of programmes, or the delivery of products or services under them; industry; relationships with customers; competition; and ability to attract personnel. You are cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this announcement. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances.