Earthport PLC Trading Update and Directorate Changes

Date : 12/18/2017 @ 2:00AM
Source : UK Regulatory (RNS & others)
Stock : Earthport (EPO)
Quote : 11.125  0.1 (0.91%) @ 11:35AM
Earthport share price Chart

Earthport PLC Trading Update and Directorate Changes

Earthport (LSE:EPO)
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2 Months : From Nov 2017 to Jan 2018

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RNS Number : 5774Z

Earthport PLC

18 December 2017

18 December 2017

Earthport plc

("Earthport" or the "Company")

Trading Update

and

Directorate Changes

Earthport (AIM: EPO), the leading payment network for cross-border transactions provides an update on revenue performance, pipeline and the market environment. In addition, the Company announces that Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Hank Uberoi will become Executive Chairman on 1 January 2018 to fully focus on a growing number of strategic opportunities and partnerships. The Board has commenced a search for a new CEO and in the interim period Phil Hickman, Non-Executive Chairman, will become interim CEO.

Update on Revenue Performance and Pipeline

Revenue Performance

Earthport's anticipated revenues are expected to be 10%-15% below current expectations for the financial year ending 30 June 2018 ("FY2018"). This adjustment reflects several factors including:

   --        Delays in some expected contracts and client implementations 
   --        A recent change at one of our leading e-commerce clients. 

Many of these contracts and implementations are expected to complete within the current financial year, but will result in lower revenues for FY2018. In addition, a recent change at one existing e-commerce client has resulted in a loss of approximately 5% of 2018 projected revenues as this client changed its plans for a UK corridor for domestic payments for reasons specific to them. They remain a client and expect to work with Earthport for other international corridors.

EBITDA is expected to be broadly in line with current market forecasts.

Pipeline

Earthport continues to navigate the course between significant medium-term revenue and strategic value growth and the short-term timing challenges of contracting and on-boarding regulated businesses. The new business pipeline is currently stronger than at any time in the firm's history. An increasing number of banks and corporate entities are in active discussions with Earthport, including large ecommerce companies and banks in the US, financial institutions in Europe, India, Australia and Southeast Asia, and existing clients who are planning expansion activities.

-- Several large existing clients are seeking to expand international corridors and offerings including a major banking client in the USA targeting over 1 million incremental transactions annually into Asia which started this month and will ramp up over the coming months.

-- The weighted and unweighted new business pipeline for FY2019 is already over 2 times that of FY2018 and continues to grow.

Earthport continues to invest in sales capacity and the pipeline is expected to have a positive impact on revenues by the end of FY2018 and accelerated growth into FY2019. As a result, Earthport confirms its expectation to reach cash flow break-even during FY2019.

Strategic Update

The market for cross-border payments continues to be transformed as financial institutions accelerate their move from the traditional correspondent banking model and wires and as digital payment models continue to advance. This change is attracting increasing competition to the Company's market with a variety of new entrants and increasing investment being committed to the industry.

Over the past three years Earthport has emerged as a significant new presence in the cross-border payment landscape. The Company is well positioned compared to its competitors through its regulatory, compliance and payments domain expertise, its data and validation infrastructure, and the strength and reach of its network, which currently provides direct local access to 67 countries (and growing) and overall payments access to over 190 countries. The brand value of Earthport is strong, as evidenced by receptivity at global industry conferences (SIBOS, Money2020, and IIF in particular) and growing sales opportunities across multiple geographies.

The Company is well positioned to play a significant role in enabling, participating in or leading a diverse range of initiatives by Asian, US and European institutions and platforms to accelerate cross border payments capabilities. These include leveraging its existing infrastructure in partnership with deep pocketed strategic partners to capture larger scale outsourcing opportunities with global banks.

Board Changes

In recognition of the immediacy and importance of these opportunities the Board has asked Hank Uberoi, currently CEO of the Company, to take direct responsibility for developing wider strategic, commercial and investment initiatives and partnerships. With effect from 1st January 2018, Hank will become Executive Chairman of the Company and the Board has initiated a search for a new CEO. Phil Hickman, currently Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, has agreed to act as interim CEO.

Mr. Hickman spent over 32 years as a banker with HSBC, and has experience across many commercial activities including Managing Director of Transaction Services for Europe. Phil was also the CEO for iPSL, a joint venture between Unisys, Barclays, Lloyds and HSBC, set up to process cheque and credit clearings of 13 million items per day and accounting for 70% of the UK market.

Hank Uberoi, CEO of Earthport, commented: "We are in a fast changing environment for cross border payments and many of the trends we have identified are now accelerating. Earthport is in an excellent market position and commands significant assets to take advantage of the growing opportunities but scale will be an important factor going forward. We have identified emerging partnership opportunities and I expect the next period of time will be both exciting and challenging, given our ambitions and the pace of change within the payments sector."

Phil Hickman, Non-Exec Chairman of Earthport, stated: "Despite a temporary setback in revenue growth rates, impacting full year 2018 revenue expectations, Earthport's pipeline and brand profile has never been better. The market is increasingly open to alternative solutions to correspondent banking and, as a leader in this field, it is imperative Earthport takes advantage of the many strategic opportunities presented by the current environment.

"As Hank focuses his full attention on pursuing these opportunities, I look forward to utilising my experience in guiding the Company. The Board will provide an update on our search for a new CEO in due course."

For further information, please contact:

Earthport Plc 020 7220 9700

Phil Hickman, Chairman

Hank Uberoi, Chief Executive Officer

Simon Adamiyatt, Chief Financial Officer

Newgate 07469 154806

Bob Huxford/James Ash

N+1 Singer (Nomad & Joint Broker) 020 7496 3000

Mark Taylor/James White

Shore Capital (Joint Broker) 020 7408 4090

Toby Gibbs/Stephane Auton

Notes to Editors

About Earthport

Earthport provides cross-border payment services to banks and businesses. Through a single relationship with Earthport, clients can seamlessly manage payments to almost any bank account in the world, reducing costs and complexity to meet their customers' evolving expectations of price, speed and transparency.

Earthport offers clients access to global payment capability in 190+ countries and territories, with local ACH options in 65+ countries and an evolving suite of currencies and settlement options.

Earthport continues to invest in the establishment of in-country bank partnerships across the world, bringing together its deep market and regulatory expertise in order to maintain compliant and commercially competitive services.

The result - a global payments network accessed via a single relationship, delivering significant cost and operating efficiencies for banks and businesses servicing high volumes of lower value payments.

Headquartered in London with regional offices in New York, Dubai, Miami and Singapore, Earthport is a public company, traded on the London Stock Exchange (AIM: EPO) with an institutional investor base including World Bank IFC, Oppenheimer, Blackrock, Henderson.

Please visit www.earthport.com for more information.

This information is provided by RNS

The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

END

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December 18, 2017 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT)

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