Optimal Payments US investment to drive sustained future growth

13th January 2014 9:14 am GMT

Online payment provider Optimal Payments said Monday that it expects to generate revenue of approximately $245.0m for the full 2013 year, following a strong performance in the second half of the year which saw the company process its first transactions in the regulated US online gaming market.

Optimal said that revenue and EBITDA are expected to be ahead of market expectations, benefiting from the strong performance of its NETELLER and NETBANX businesses during the second half of the year.

NETELLER eWallet initiatives continued to drive underlying growth in customer metrics and revenue in H2, while NETBANX’s strong performance was driven by its straight-through-processing division, particularly in Asia, including some second half seasonality.  

The company said that its strategic initiatives are also progressing well, including the launch of its online payment solution for the US regulated online gaming market in Nevada and New Jersey.

Optimal processed its first US gaming transactions in H2, but claimed that the timing and amount of revenue generated by the operations “remains uncertain”.

The company warned however that it incurred higher costs in H2 as a result of its investment in its US gaming offering, as well as an increased headcount to drive future growth.

Optimal Payments president and CEO Joel Leonoff said: “2013 has been an exceptional year for the group with substantial growth in revenues and in particular EBITDA which evidences the strength of our operationally geared business model.

“We believe that the ongoing investment we are making in expanded infrastructure and US online gaming initiatives will help to drive sustained future growth in 2014, 2015 and beyond.”

Optimal expects to report full year revenue of no less than $245.0m, an increase of 107 per cent year-on-year, with EBITDA more than doubling to $51.5m (2012: $25.2m).

The company added that it continues to focus on identifying possible M&S candidates and pursuing potential acquisitions.

Last week, Optimal obtained principal membership status for merchant acquiring from MasterCard Europe and Visa Europe.

The agreements will allow the company to directly acquire merchant accounts without the need for an acquiring bank, and process Visa and MasterCard payment transactions in the UK and the European Union for Optimal merchants. It is expected to lead to improved margins and competitiveness for the NETBANX offering.

Shares in Optimal Payments plc (Co. Data) (AIM:OPAY) have gained 0.95 per cent to 411.65 pence per share in London this morning following the announcement.

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