Western Union’s Irish arm delivers 18% rise in profits

Pre-tax profits at the Dublin- based unit of Western Union last year rose 18% to $33m (€28.9m).

It generated the profits as revenues increased from $747m to $761.3m in 2016.

The numbers employed at the Clonskeagh offices in Dublin fell from 440 to 426, with staff costs running out at $52m, including a restructuring charge of $1.4m. The largest number of employees work in compliance, at 138.

In 2015, the Central Bank fined Western Union Payment Services Ireland €1.75m amid failures in anti-money laundering practices.

The company last year paid out €20m in dividends, double the amount paid in 2015.

According to the directors’ report, money transfer revenues increased 2% as a result of a 5% increase in transaction volumes.

The report adds: “Locations grew by 1% net of 6,000 agent de-registrations in the year. The revenue per transaction has declined from $19.76 to $19.29.”

The company recorded a 5% increase in transactions to 38,724,000 transactions in 2016. The directors reported that administrative costs fell from $75.29m to $70.63m primarily driven from ongoing cost reduction activities and the strengthening US dollar.

The directors also state that they continued implementing additional initiatives to improve productivity and reduce costs.

On the firm’s future developments, the directors state that “the company is aiming to grow its business by focusing on increasing the number of productive new locations, de-registering non-productive locations while also investigating new initiatives to enhance its existing services and to provide its customers with access to an expanding portfolio of payment services”.

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