January 14th, 2016
Global payment provider Paysafe Group PLC revealed in its 2015 full-year trading update that financial performance was strong last year, with approximately $600 million [£415 million] worth of revenue declared by 31 December. Much of Paysafe’s impressive performance in 2015 was powered by its acquisition of Skrill (formerly Moneybookers), and the group is now on its way to being the dominant payment force in the global online gambling industry.
Paysafe was still known as Optimal Payments PLC when it announced its $1.2 billion [£830 billion] Skrill acquisition agreement in March. After a swift acquisition process was completed in August, the company changed its name to Paysafe Group PLC in November.
The trading update also includes a statement from Paysafe President and CEO Joel Leonoff, who describes 2015 as “a transformational year”. Leonoff also highlights that “the Skrill acquisition significantly enhances our global scale”, explaining that Paysafe “is now operating in more markets and geographies than ever before”.
Leonoff takes the opportunity to inform the London Stock Exchange (LSE) that the Skrill integration is already yielding positive results. Paysafe forecasted that the Skrill purchase would yield between $5-10 million [£3.5-7 million] worth of synergy savings for the second half of 2015, and the actual savings were at the top of the forecast range.
Skrill’s integration within Paysafe enabled the group to extend its global reach and gain the capacity to process more than 100 payment methods in over 40 countries and in 22 different languages. Paysafe’s ownership of the Skrill and NETELLER brands means that the group could arguably be the most powerful e-wallet provider in the global online gambling industry.
The Paysafe group’s offering extends beyond e-wallets to include paysafecard, which became the world’s leading e-voucher after Skrill Group acquired competitor Ukash in April 2015. Ukash was then integrated into paysafecard and the brand was dissolved in August 2015.
Paysafe also owns Payolution, a provider focused on delivering pay-later solutions in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The quality of the Paysafe Group portfolio suggests that positive financial performance will continue into 2016.
All of Paysafe’s actions in 2015 were driven by the goal of creating “a payments powerhouse across digital wallets, payment processing and prepaid products and services,” according to Leonoff. Judging by the success of these actions, it appears that this goal is within reach.
Growth on the LSE appears to be Leonoff's next key target. Paysafe reveals in its trading update that it hopes to be considered as a prospective candidate for the FTSE 250 Index, which is scheduled to be reviewed in March.
On March 16, Paysafe will also publish its complete 2015 financial results. Meanwhile, the company has already been forced to decrease its estimated 2015 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) from $150 million [£69 million] to $100 million [£104 million].
The significant downgrade in EBITDA appears to be the only pressing concern for a payment provider that now controls NETELLER, Skrill and paysafecard. Since these brands are integral payment methods within the global online gambling industry, Paysafe now commands the attention of operators from all over the world.
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