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Wirecard raises guidance for 2019, 2020 on second-quarter momentum

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Wirecard raises guidance for 2019, 2020 on second-quarter momentum
FILE PHOTO: A man walks past the Wirecard booth at the computer games fair Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay   -   Copyright  Wolfgang Rattay(Reuters)
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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Payments company Wirecard raised its outlook for 2019 on Wednesday after reporting new client wins, including Germany’s ALDI supermarket chains, as it reported a 35.6% gain in core profits in the second quarter.

Wirecard said it now expects earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to rise to between 765 million euros and 815 million euros (£704-£750 million)) this year, up from an earlier 760-810 million euros.

“In the first half year our growth accelerated, hence we are looking extremely optimistically towards the second half of 2019,” CEO Markus Braun said in a statement.

Munich-based Wirecard also raised its “Vision 2020” forecasts: it now expects transaction volume of 230 billion euros, up from 215 billion, and raised its revenue forecast to 3.2 billion euros from 3 billion.

It confirmed its earlier guidance for an EBITDA margin of 30-35% and free-cash-flow conversion of 65% next year.

The company, which acts as an acquirer for merchants and issues real and virtual payment cards to consumers, has positioned itself to profit from the spread of digital payments that still account for only a fraction of money spent worldwide.

Second-quarter EBITDA of 184 million euros, up 35.6%, was in line with analyst expectations according to Refinitiv Eikon data. Revenue was up by 37.4% in the period, implying an acceleration from the first quarter.

(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Michelle Martin)

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