Euronet’s strong recovery continues – EFT revenues up 41%

Euronet’s impressive recovery continued in Q3 as resurgent international travel boosted revenues and profits. The company processed 48% more transactions than a year earlier with average profit per transaction up 25%. Euronet is headquartered in Kansas but does most of its business outside the US

Total group revenue in Q3 was $931m, 14% higher than the same period in 2021. In addition to the rebound in travel, sales were also boosted by the acquisition of Piraeus Bank’s merchant acquiring business in March 2022 and “a significant volume increase in low-priced payment processing transactions in Asia Pacific.”

Michael Brown, Chairman and CEO said, “Consumers across the globe, not only want to travel, but can’t wait to travel and they still want to use cash when they finally arrive at their destination.” The travel recovery has been patchy. Happily for Euronet, Greece outperformed. International arrivals were up 2% in Greece on 2019 levels although total European inbound travel remains down 26% on pre-pandemic numbers. 

Euronet comprises three divisions. The ePay and money transfer units grew sales in low single digits but EFT (which includes ATM processing and merchant services) once again had a stand-out quarter. EFT grew revenues 41% to $319m with total transactions up 48% at 1.7bn.

The new Greek operation seems to have made a positive start. It contributed $30m to EFT revenues and is winning ISVs partnerships and marquee corporate accounts. For example, Euronet has signed a resale agreement with EpsionNet, a local software company with “more than 100,000 customers” and added 3,000 new merchants including Carrefour, McDonalds, Odeon and Heron Energy. Outside Greece, Euronet signed and onboarded 770 new merchants during Q3 through its Innova Tax Free and Pure Commerce business units.

While some commentators fear for the future of ATMs as customers shift spending to cards, Euronet remains optimistic. Michael Brown explained that travellers still need some cash and, with banks closing branches at an increasing pace, they will get money from the “first ATM you trip over when you’re on vacation… and there’s a higher likelihood they’ll trip over my ATM versus the bank’s ATM.

Euronet continues to expand its footprint as the leading independent ATM operator. The company finished the quarter with 51,437 ATMs, up 8% despite “facing some challenges in the ATM supply-chain, which has slowed down some of our ATM expansion.”

Total operating income was up 47% to $168m driven once again by a strong EFT performance which demonstrated strong operational leverage in growing income 85% to $116m. Margins expanded from 27.8% to 36.4% boosted by a 25% increase in operating income per transaction to 6.3c. As international travel recovers, Euronet’s search for high value transactions can sometimes push pricing a little too far. I found a Euronet ATM in Malta last month charging 9.5% commission for DCC. 

Total adjusted EBITDA, the company’s preferred measure of profitability, was up 36% to $212m. EFT again outperformed with EBITDA increasing 63% to $140m. Michael Brown said “we spend a lot of money on R&D. And that’s why we’ve got the tech stacks that continue to win more and more business. But we don’t whine about it. I mean we don’t say, “Oh, we’re spending this much more on R&D this year, just to make your future better and use that as an excuse for bad results today.”

Euronet rebounds but warns on continued travel disruptions

Euronet’s merchant payments and ATM business continues its strong rebound from the pandemic but management warned that the ongoing disruption to European travel would be a restraint on growth into H2. 

Euronet is headquartered in Kansas but does most of its business outside the US. Overall revenue was up 18% in Q2 to $843m. The epay and Money Transfer divisions must be giving cause for concern with sales down 7% and up just 3% respectively but it’s the EFT Processing division which interests us at Business of Payments. 

EFT Processing revenue rose 119% from $113.5m to $249.0m. 80% of this is made in Europe. 

All metrics have moved strongly in the right direction. More transactions and more high margin transactions have been flowing through Euronet’s processing centres. Total transactions (POS + ATM) were up 59% at 1.573m while revenue per transaction grew 45% to $0.16. This reflects “the higher proportion of high value and high margin DCC transactions due to reduction of travel restrictions.”

Heading into the second half of the year, management called out several headwinds including strengthening USD, rising interest rates, inflation and staffing/operational issues in the travel industry. Michael Brown, CEO was particularly harsh on Heathrow. 

“Let’s not forget, travellers from the U.K. are by far the largest producer of high-value international transactions on our ATMs because every card has a cross currency component. So, the limiting of passengers to and from the British airports has had a more significant impact on our forecast.”

Euronet manages a total of 51,062 ATMs, some directly and some on behalf of 3rd party operators including banks. ATM’s were particularly badly hit by the pandemic but, despite early forecasts of the death of cash, have bounced back strongly in the recovery. Total number of ATMs grew 10% boosted by deals in India, Spain (with the Post Office to provide access to cash in rural locations) and a new independent network in Iceland. Revenue per ATM grew from $934 to $1696. 

Future deployments have been hit by operational problems. “We have been challenged with supply chain issues related to our ATM deployments. These issues range from manufacturers not delivering the machines on time to third-party resource issues installing them.”

In addition to the ATM’s, Euronet manages 570,000 POS terminals, mainly as an outsourced provider to banks. However, it took direct control of its estate in Greece during Q2 through the acquisition of the merchant services division of Piraeus Bank. This gives Euronet an estimated 40% share of the Greek POS merchant acquiring market and 20% of eCommerce. According to Euronet, new business is healthy – 5,000 merchants were signed in Q2 including some marquee names such as Ikea and TGI Fridays – and the transition to Euronet’s platform “has gone smoothly.” 

EFT Processing is highly geared. Revenue more than doubled but operating expenses rose just 40% which helped operating income swing into $54.8m profit from a loss of $25.3m in the same quarter of 2021. Investors will be hoping this rebound has further to go. Even at the new profit level, operating income margin in this division is just 7% and return on assets 4.1%.