Optimal announces Interim Results for six months ended 30 June 2011

Strong growth in first half – ahead of expectations

Tuesday, 20 September 2011 – Optimal Payments Plc (LSE: OPAY) (“Optimal Payments”, the “Group” or the “Company”), a leading online payments provider, today announces its results for the six months ended 30 June 2011.

Operational Highlights

•   Integration and rationalisation substantially complete following transformational acquisition of Optimal Payments’ straight through processing (“STP”) business in February. •   Significant organisational structure changes undertaken to improve focus and leverage existing leadership, expertise and experience in each discipline. •   Synergies identified at time of deal already achieved and full benefits expected to be seen in 2012. •   Substantial progress made on delivering three year strategic objectives, including growing STP business, extending verticals outside of gaming and establishing a North American presence.

Financial Highlights

•   EBITDA(1) of $6.4m (H1 2010: $6.1m), slightly ahead of Board expectations. •   Strong growth from STP business (revenue of $36.9m up 418% on H1 2010) both organically and as a result of the acquisition. •   Stored Value business in line with H1 2010 on an adjusted basis, reflecting change of Asian business model (revenue of $20.1m vs $19.4m(2) in H1 2010). •   Balance sheet remains solid, with Group cash of $53.8m at 30 June 2011. •   Well placed for growth in second half and on track to meet Board’s full year expectations.

(1)   EBITDA is defined as results of operating activities before depreciation and amortisation and exceptional non-recurring items which are defined as items of income and expense of such size, nature or incidence, that in the view of management their disclosure is relevant to explain the performance of the Group. (2)  Revenue for H1 2010 adjusted to show impact of change of Asian business model with Asia Pacific revenues of $3.9 million recategorised to STP total revenues from Stored Value total revenues. 

Commenting on today’s results announcement, Joel Leonoff, President & CEO, said:

“The first six months have seen the Group make strong progress in integrating and rationalising the former NEOVIA and Optimal (‘OP’) businesses, following the acquisition of the OP business on 1 February 2011.  Many of the inherent synergies identified at the time of the deal have been achieved and we expect the full benefits to be seen in our 2012 results.  Our organisational structure has undergone significant change as part of the integration process and as a result the Group is well poised for  future growth.

The Group ended the first half with EBITDA slightly ahead of Board expectations. The Board expects revenues and EBITDA to be materially higher in the second half. The strong performance of the STP business seen in the first half is expected to continue for the rest of the year, improving in line with typical anticipated seasonal upturns in the second half.

The integration of the two NETBANX platforms is substantially complete and the Company expects further cost savings in the second half from headcount reductions already made and other cost saving initiatives. We are continuing to develop and introduce new and improved functionality for both our NETBANX STP and NETELLER eWallet offerings, focused on innovation and differentiation.

The Board notes the continued consolidation within the alternative payments space and believes the Group is well placed as a major independent player to take advantage of the numerous opportunities as they arise.  The Board is confident about the Group’s future and that it is on track to meet its expectations for the full year.”

The full text of the Interim Results statement is available as a PDF here.

About Optimal Payments Plc

Trusted by businesses and consumers in over 180 countries to move and manage billions of dollars each year, Optimal Payments Plc is the leading payments company offering a true alternative to banks and card schemes. Merchants use the NETBANX® processing service to simplify how they accept and settle card, direct-from-bank, and cash payments; and the NETELLER® payment account to increase margins, capture new customers and increase their lifetime value. Being independent has allowed the company to support tens-of-thousands of retailers and merchants in many geographies and across multiple industries.

Optimal Payments Plc is quoted on the London Stock Exchange's AIM, with a ticker symbol of OPAY. Subsidiary company NETELLER (UK) Ltd is authorised and regulated as an e-money issuer by the UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA).

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Media and Investor Contacts

Optimal Payments' media relations team can be contacted through the Media Relations Contact page. Relations with the investor and analyst community are managed by Citigate Dewe Rogerson who can be contacted through the Investor Relations Contact page.

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