Worldline reports decline in Q1 sales on health curbs

FILE PHOTO: A logo of payments company Worldline is seen in the illustration picture taken February 3, 2020. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) -French payment services provider Worldline reported on Wednesday a drop of 9% in first-quarter sales from a year ago, citing health restrictions in key markets, particularly Germany and Switzerland.

The group, which processes transactions for clients ranging from merchants to government agencies, said first-quarter sales reached 1.08 billion euros ($1.30 billion), below last year's figure of 1.19 billion euros.

Worldline has benefited from a faster shift to e-commerce and online payments in the pandemic. But as Europe grapples with a third wave of infections, the latest lockdowns have hit the group hard, hammering in-store transactions, especially in Germany.

Germany is Worldline's largest market, accounting for 20% to 25% of group sales.

The company said its integration of Ingenico was progressing, and it had already secured two-thirds of synergies expected from the acquisition.

After a wave of mergers and acquisitions among U.S. peers looking to grow their share of digital transactions and match fast-changing consumer habits and technologies, Worldline acquired more than 93% of French rival Ingenico in late October.

The company confirmed its forecast for at least mid-single digit revenue organic growth in 2021.

($1=0.8316 euros)

(Reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski and Juliette Portala in Gdansk; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Clarence Fernandez)

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