Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

Revenue up 15% (CCY[1]) y/y to USD 490 million in 2023, supported by a 30% (CCY[1]) rise in the total value of consumer payments processed by merchant customers (TPV) across the MEA; Very strong performance in the UAE driven by growing consumer confidence and tourism; payments processed at UAE merchants from domestic consumers[5] up 24% y/y and international payments[6] from UAE tourists and visitors up 55% y/y; Significant growth at SME merchants, with UAE SME merchant volumes up 53% y/y; Excellent new business wins, with the addition of major new UAE merchant customers including Talabat, Moncler and additional branches of Carrefour and Lulu; Underlying EBITDA up 13% to USD 200 million reflecting revenue growth and cost discipline; Merchant signups for newly launched direct-to-merchant services in Egypt reached over 2,000. 

 Group Financial Summary (USD‘000)

FY 2023

FY 2022[7]

y/y change

 Total revenue

490,132

435,535

12.5% (15% ccy[1])

 Merchant Services

231,942

180,511

28.5% (31% ccy[1])

 Outsourced Payment Services

250,719

242,510

3.4% (5% ccy[1])

 Other revenue

7,471

12,514

(40.3)%

 Underlying EBITDA[2]

200,330

177,653

12.8%

 Underlying EBITDA margin[2]

40.9%

40.8%

10bps

 Profit for the period

66,507

79,154

(16.0)%

 Underlying free cash flow[2]

95,623

81,779

16.9%

 Cash flow from operating activities

181,347

119,202

52.1%

 Leverage[3]

0.6x

0.7x

(0.1)x

Network International Holdings Plc (LSE:NETW) (“Network” or the “Company”) today announced its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2023. The full Annual Report can be found at https://apo-opa.co/3IXLncr

Nandan Mer, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“Network delivered a robust performance in 2023. Network’s revenue in 2023 increased 15% in constant currency, demonstrating the resilience of our business as well as the very strong underlying growth of our home market in the UAE, despite challenging macro-economic conditions in some of our markets across Africa which impacted consumer spending and customer outsourcing.

We continued to make strides with our strategic focus on high-growth segments such as SME, online and hospitality, enabled by targeted technology investments and industry breadth of payment acceptance. Our new market entry and expansion is progressing well with major new client wins in Saudi Arabia and strong interest for our newly launched direct-to-merchant services in Egypt.”

Strong financial performance

Network delivered revenue of USD 490 million in 2023 up 13% (15% in constant currency) compared to the same period last year, driven by stellar performance from the Middle East, with Merchant Services up 28% (31% in constant currency) and Outsourced Payment Services up 3% (5% in constant currency). The Middle East witnessed significant growth in the value of merchant payments processed from domestic consumers and international visitors, increasing 24% and 55% year on year respectively, reflecting the UAE’s resilient domestic consumer spending and strong influx of tourists in addition to the strength of Network International’s competitive offering. Across the group, which includes African markets, the total value of consumer payments processed with merchants grew 29% (30% in constant currency) year on year, supported by Network International’s strategic focus on the high-growth SME, online and hospitality sectors.

The company’s robust performance despite the challenging macro environment in Africa stemming from a combination of softening economic growth, currency instability and rising inflation, demonstrates Network’s ability to navigate and deliver value in complex market conditions. 

Underlying EBITDA increased 13% to USD 200 million in 2023, compared to the same period last year, with an attractive margin of 41%. This reflects Network’s strong revenue performance and cost control, while it continued investing in its product capabilities and future growth.

Profit for the period was USD 67 million, down 16% year on year, impacted by increasing interest rates, higher depreciation and amortisation from increased investments and a higher effective tax rate due to growing profits across Africa. Network generated robust underlying free cash flow of USD 96 million, up 17% year on year.

Significant UAE SME signings and strong momentum in KSA

Major merchant sign-ups and strong SME performance:

Network International continued to attract a significant number of key account and SME merchants, with major new wins during the year including Talabat, Moncler and additional branches of Carrefour and Lulu.

The company’s ongoing focus on the SME segment continues to pay off, delivering significant growth in UAE SME signings, up 20% year on year. The company’s success was supported by additional investments in its sales team and the launch of new capabilities including its digital onboarding process and sector-specific solutions.

Financial institution (FI) wins:

Network secured 16 new customers across acquirer and issuer processing. It also continues to rapidly expand its customer base in Saudi Arabia signing six new financial institutions, taking the company’s total processing customers in the Kingdom to 12.

Growth in newly launched direct-to-merchant services in Egypt

Having successfully launched direct-to-merchant services in Egypt at the start of 2023, Network’s offering continues to receive a strong reception, having secured over 2,000 merchants. The entry into direct-to-merchant services in Egypt builds on Network’s already well-established presence as a processing services provider in the country.

[1] Ccy – In Constant currency terms.
[2] This is an Alternative Performance Measure (APM), financial definitions and further details on financial disclosures are available in the company’s regulated RNS on the London Stock Exchange.
[3] Leverage ratio computation and reconciliations are available in the company’s regulated RNS on the London Stock Exchange.
[4] TPV: Total Processed Volumes – the aggregate monetary volume of purchases processed by the Group within its Merchant Services business line.
[5] Domestic TPV represents spending from consumers domiciled in the region.
[6] International TPV represents consumer spending by overseas visitors.
[7] Certain comparative figures have been restated, further details on financial disclosures are available in the company’s regulated RNS on the London Stock Exchange.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Network International.

Media enquiries:
Teneo
Rahul Ravisankar
[email protected]

Follow Network International:
Website: www.Network.ae
Instagram: https://apo-opa.co/3TZNbrW
X (Twitter): https://apo-opa.co/3TDsP6n
LinkedIn: https://apo-opa.co/3TGiSF4
YouTube: https://apo-opa.co/4cCuAJr

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.

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