Payzone losses rise to €177m as consumer spending patterns tighten

ELECTRONIC payments solutions provider Payzone saw its pre-tax losses rise to €177.2 million in its last financial year, according to accounts filed with the Companies Registration Office.

The company, established through the 2007 merger of Irish firm Alphyra and British cash machine operator Cardpoint, had generated a pre-tax loss of €148.7m the previous year.

The latest set of accounts for the Dublin-headquartered company, covering the 12 months to the end of last September, also show an increase in operating loss from €119.2m to €148.6m and a rise in overall revenue from €555.7m to €588.7m.

The company’s basic and diluted loss per share went down from 48c to 39c, however.

Payzone’s chief business stream is the provision of ATM machines and other electronic transaction services, such as mobile phone top-up machines.

In the latest accounts, management said the company has performed well in a “challenging and changing market“.

The company’s northern European business was hampered by the recession and tightening consumer spending patterns, while its ATM business experienced a contraction in surcharging volumes as consumers opted to use non-surcharging ATMs. However, it added that its ATM business in Germany (the company sold its divisions in France, Italy and Spain) had performed well in 2009, benefiting from a decision by the German banks to raise the price per withdrawal they charge to customers.

The financial downturn also led to a restructuring of Payzone’s Irish and UK divisions last year and a reduction in overall staff levels to 745 people.

However, despite expenditure on non-core interests being reduced during the year, executive director remuneration increased from €541,922 to €1.02m.

This included an increase from €199,337 to €664,999 in the total remuneration package of chief executive Mike Maloney, whose basic salary rose from €199,337 to €584,999.


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