Payzone Ireland returns to profit after rescue buyout
Published 13/07/2011 | 05:00
PAYZONE Ireland returned to profit last year just months after being taken over in a rescue buyout, according to accounts just filed with the Companies Office.
The Irish Independent has also learnt that the Payzone Group, the larger electronic payments business, is also trading profitably after last year's dramatic debt restructuring.
Payzone operates cash machines, online and instore payment systems, and although based here it is registered in Luxembourg.
The Irish subsidiary made a pre-tax profit of €2.24m in the year to the end of September 2010, according to accounts just filed. Turnover was €223m, down from €252m in 2009, but profits were boosted by a 12pc cut in operating costs -- including cutting job numbers from 84 to 66 over the year.
In February 2010, the Payzone Group, formerly known as Alphyra, was sold out of receivership to UK-based investor Duke Street Capital for just €45m -- after banks wrote off almost €340m of debt and took a minority stake in the company.
Payzone Group's CEO Mike Moloney told the Irish Independent last night that both the Irish and group businesses were now trading profitably. He said profits were now €85m for the year, or 1.2 times its €70m. In 2008, debts were €340m and earnings were €40m.
The business saw turnover fall as its core mobile top-up markets recorded continuing declines, according to Mr Moloney. He said diversification into new segments including mobile toll and parking payments has cut the companies reliance on the mobile markets from 90pc to 50pc.
Mr Moloney said Ireland, Greece and Romania, which are all in IMF programmes, are the most profitable markets for the group, thanks to the a shift away from credit cards and credit in general in each country.
In Germany, new surcharges for bank customers using other lenders' ATM machines are hitting turnover, he said.
Its previous difficulties mean the Irish unit has retained losses of €29.7m. That helped cut the tax bill on last year's €2.24m profit to just €32,000, according to the accounts filed.