Wirecard AG: substantial rise in sales revenues and EBIT

(PresseBox) ( Grasbrunn, )
Both in the third quarter and in the first nine months of the current fiscal year, Wirecard AG again succeeded in recording substantial growth, gaining additional market share in the process.In the first nine months of 2008, sales revenues were up by 50.4 percent year-on-year, from EUR 93.8 million to EUR 141.1 million. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to EUR 35.2 million, equivalent to an increase by 55.8 percent compared with the previous-year period (EUR 22.6 million). The EBIT margin in the first nine months of 2008 increased from 24 to 25 percent year-on-year.

In the third quarter of 2008, consolidated sales revenues in the Group rose from EUR 37.3 million in the same quarter a year earlier to EUR 52.8 million. Group earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) in the third quarter of 2008 increased to EUR 13.0 million, from EUR 9.3 million in the previous-year quarter. The operating result for the third quarter includes approx. EUR 1.0 million in extraordinary expenditure on additional litigation and consultancy costs and for a special expert opinion.

Sustained growth in the core segments

The increasing pressure on companies to cut costs and optimize efficiency, particularly during economically challenging times, made a positive contribution to the general trend in the direction of migrating business processes from the offline to the online world. In parallel with a substantial increase in the trading volume in our customer portfolio, a large number of new customers were acquired in the third quarter. Our customer base meanwhile comprises more than 10,000 enterprises from Europe and Asia.

In the first nine months of 2008, an increase in sales revenues by 54.4 percent was recorded in the core segment of "Payment Processing & Risk Management", to reach EUR 131.2 million (9M/2007: EUR 85.0 million). The level of EBIT generated in this segment by risk management services and the processing of online payment transactions after the first nine months of fiscal 2008 amounted to EUR 24.6 million (9M/2007: EUR 17.7 million), equivalent to an increase of 39.0 percent.

The share of the "Acquiring & Issuing" segment and, therefore, of Group sales revenues generated by Wirecard Bank AG, was up by 108 percent in the first nine months of 2008 year-on-year, from EUR 13.7 million to EUR 28.5 million. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) in the first nine months of 2008 increased from EUR 4.6 million to EUR 10.5 million.

On the one hand, it was possible to acquire numerous new customers; on the other, the fast-growing market for online products had a positive impact on the volume of business with portfolio customers.

"Regardless of the overall economic development, a substantial increase in electronic trading remains in evidence in all target markets. Accordingly, we are optimistic both for the fourth quarter of 2008 and the following year and expect clearly positive business trends to continue in future, too", said Dr. Markus Braun, CEO of Wirecard AG.

Forecast for 2008 affirmed

In view of the positive business trend in the first nine months of 2008, the Management Board of Wirecard AG has affirmed its forecast of boosting EBIT by 45 - 60 percent for fiscal 2008 as a whole. For the 2008 financial year, therefore, earnings before interest and taxes are expected to range somewhere between EUR 48 million and EUR 53 million.
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