Network International
Network International will take a lot of relief from more upbeat numbers emerging towards end of 2020. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai’s payment processing company Network International expects to close its $288 million acquisition of African peer DPO in the second quarter. The process is in the “final regulatory” approval phase.

That deal should reinforce Network International medium-term numbers, but for now, the company is trying to shake off the COVID-19 induced declines. Total revenue for last year was down 15.1 per cent, but did manage to end the year with “positive momentum across business lines”.

Revenues for the full year were at $284.8 million. Profit from operations took a 90.2 per cent hit, to $5.59 million. But the company did record “particularly strong growth” in directly acquired TPV (total processed volume) from online merchants of 53 per cent year-on-year”. (TPV is a key measure in the payments processing space, and it’s significant that online-related transactions drove the company’s numbers.)

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Second-half gains

Underlying free cashflow was at $51.8 million and cashflow from operating activities $107.5 million. “Whilst this reflects COVID-19 impacts and FCF (free cashflow) generation was low in H1-2020, we saw stronger positive cashflow generation in H2,” the company said in a statement.

"Network has made great strides during a challenging year; seeing a number of new business wins, strong demand for online payment acceptance, and the expansion of our capabilities through the launch of the digital product platform in partnership with Mastercard,” said Nandan Mer, the new CEO.

“Whilst trading and revenue was naturally subdued during the year we started to see a number of positive indicators as we exited 2020, including the progressive recovery of volumes and transactions and a pickup in the pace of new business. The pandemic has also accelerated the move away from cash, towards card and other forms of digital payments.”