Payzone pre-tax profits drop 50% to €2.87m

Pre-tax profits at electronics payment business Payzone last year halved to €2.87m after the firm suffered a dip in revenues.

Accounts just filed with the Companies Office show that Payzone Ireland Ltd recorded the drop after revenues decreased by 5% from €234.2m to €222.1m in the 12 months to the end of Sept 30 last.

Payzone is Ireland’s largest consumer payments network with over 2,000 branded retail agents which process a variety of electronic transactions services, including mobile phone top ups, debit/credit card transactions; M50 motorway toll payments; Leap travel cards, local property tax payments, parking fees and pre-paid utility cards.

The firm has been to the forefront in developing the e-payments industry and processes over €50m transactions in Ireland annually in retail, online and mobile phone payments.

The firm last year increased its gross profit by 15% from €7.3m to €8.5m.

The firm enjoyed an exceptional gain of €4m due to a bad debt write-back in 2011 and this did not re-occur in 2012 and operating profit, excluding exceptional items, was last year up 47% to €2.9m.

Managing director of Payzone Ireland, Jim Deignan, described last year’s performance as “successful”, stating that the most notable aspect of the business was the diversification into new areas of electronic customer payments.

He said: “Increasingly we have expanded from the traditional mobile phone top-up sector into providing convenient, cost effective and secure payments services for both private and public sectors.”

He said: “Traditionally mobile top-ups would have accounted for close to 100% of our turnover, but this has gradually dropped to the point where mobile top-ups now account for around 50% of turnover with the balance coming from new business sources in the public and private sectors.”

Mr Deignan added: “Solutions akin to the Leap Card, developed around international transport systems, are evolving rapidly, and we believe Payzone is well placed to lead the development in the Irish market. We are also increasingly involved with local authorities in providing mobile solutions for parking charges”.

The profit reduced the firm’s shareholder deficit from €19.1m to €16.2m. The profit also takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €1.13m. Staff costs last year increased from €3.79m to €3.98m.

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