Network International reports strong start to 2022 with Q1 revenue up 33% year on year

Network International, which operates across Africa and the Middle East, has seen strong underlying   growth in payment transactions which has supported Issuer Solutions growth alongside new customer signings

Figures include growth for DPO Group, acquired by Network International in 2021, which saw a large number of key merchant wins and signed an agreement with RCS Group, a Network customer, enabling over 2 million RCS retail store card holders to pay for goods at DPO merchants Launch plans underway in Egypt, customer onboarding in progress in Saudi Arabia New products gaining momentum, including ‘fintech in a box’ where Network can issue cards and undertake processing for fintechs in southern Africa, through partnership with Access Bank Domestic and international Total Processed Volumes (“TPV”)1 in the UAE now 20% and 9% respectively ahead of pre-pandemic Q1 2019, reflective of a strong rebound in tourism

Dubai, UAE, 27th April 2022: Network International Holdings Plc, Q1 2022 trading update

Network International announced a 33% increase in year on year revenue for Q1 2022. The business, comprised of a group of companies, is a leading enabler of digital commerce across the Middle East & Africa, providing a full suite of technology enabled payment solutions to merchants and financial institutions of all types and sizes.

Network International’s offering includes acquiring and processing services, and an ever-evolving range of value-added services. In 2021, Network International acquired DPO Group, a leading African digital payments company, in a landmark deal for the African payments landscape.

Network International has offices in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Egypt, and client presence across almost all other African countries.

Nandan Mer, Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We have started the year strongly with 33% y/y Q1 revenue growth. Key markets are seeing a continued improvement in consumer spending and increasing numbers of international visitors, driving accelerated growth in both domestic and international TPV. This has been supported by customer wins and capability launches.

DPO Group has also seen good volume growth of 33% year on year, as well as the benefit of another cross-selling arrangement with an existing Network customer – RCS Group. Overall, the growth in the period is evidence of successful delivery on our strategic objectives and a solid foundation for the year ahead.”

New customer wins: Saw a solid start to the year Network secured three new financial institution customers; and renewed two existing contracts, including the renewal of our processing agreement with Commercial Bank of Dubai. In new business wins, the company has signed a five-year agreement with Taj Bank in Nigeria for virtual and physical cards, the first Islamic bank to be onboarded onto Network’s Nigerian platform. Network is now live and providing processing services to Blink Neo Bank in Jordan, the region’s first licensed digital-only bank, a win which is evidence of Network’s enriched digital banking experience, delivering card issuing, hosting and personalisation services. Other new clients included Albaraka Bank, the company’s second financial institution win in Sudan.
Strong performance was seen across all regions Issuer Solutions saw an excellent start to the year, which reflects the benefits of customers signed in the prior year, cross-selling to existing customers and strong underlying digital transaction growth.

Performance was broadly based across both the Middle East and Africa, with the number of transactions increasing strongly in the quarter. The number of credentials hosted also remains in positive growth territory, with Northern Africa and Jordan particularly supportive through the period.

DPO trading well with new merchant wins and capability launches DPO delivered good growth during the first quarter of 2022 with TPV increasing 30% (33% in constant FX) year on year as the company secured a number of new wins in its key markets of South Africa, Zambia and Namibia including Harley Davidson, Estee Lauder and Pernod Ricard. Consequently, revenues grew 20% during the period.

Customer onboarding in progress in Saudi Arabia; launch plans underway in Egypt
Network is in the process of onboarding its new processing customer in Saudi Arabia and has a healthy new business pipeline in the country. The company expects The Kingdom to become a key market, as the adoption of digital payments continues to accelerate in line with Vision 2030.

In Egypt, Network is currently in the process of applying for a payment service provider license with its technology stack already in the deployment phase. The company expects the revenue opportunity to build from 2023 onwards.

Cross-sell and new product launches: Gaining momentum Network has launched ‘fintech in a box’, where it is now able to issue, host and process credentials for fintechs in southern Africa having partnered with Access Bank. This allows Network to significantly scale its partnerships with fintechs and provide them with services across the entire payments value chain, a model which will be shared across the broader group and regions.

UAE consumer spending exceeds to pre-pandemic level driving growth in Merchant Solutions Network saw the total value of domestic payments processed (Total Processed Volumes (“TPV”)1 in Q1 2022 increase 22% year on year as consumer spending remained buoyant. Robust tourism and business travel supported by events such as Expo 2020 Dubai led to a sharp rise in international TPV, which grew 120% year on year. Domestic and international TPV are now 20% and 9% respectively, ahead of their pre-pandemic levels in Q1 2019.

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