Monday , May 27, 2019

Evertec’s Payment Volumes Surge as Hurricane-Ravaged Puerto Rico Recovers

Puerto Rico-based payment processor Evertec Inc. suffered along with the rest of the island when hurricanes Irma and especially Maria swept through in September 2017 and destroyed homes, businesses, and the electrical grid, but now Evertec’s payment volumes are surging as the island recovers.

Puerto Rican transaction volumes were up 47% over the hurricane-impacted results of a year earlier, the company said upon releasing its fourth-quarter financials this week.

President and chief executive Morgan M. “Max” Schuessler noted on the call that the average payment card ticket fell about 6%.

Headquartered in San Juan, Evertec is Puerto Rico’s largest merchant acquirer. The company also processes for payment card issuers, provides core bank-processing services, and runs the ATH PIN-debit network. Besides Puerto Rico, Evertec operates elsewhere in the Caribbean and in Latin America.

The higher transaction volumes helped lift merchant-acquiring net revenues 42% to $25.8 million from $18.2 million in 2017’s fourth quarter. Full-year acquiring revenues grew 16% to $99.7 million from 2017’s $85.8 million.

Total fourth-quarter revenues hit $118.2 million, up 19% year over year. The increase “reflects the growth over the post-hurricane impacted results last year and increased transaction and sales volumes in Puerto Rico, resulting from post-hurricane recovery activity as well as growth in our Latin America business,” chief financial officer Joaquín Castrillo said on a Wednesday conference call with analysts, according to a Thomson Reuters StreetEvents transcript. Full-year revenues increased 11% to $453.9 million.

President and chief executive Morgan M. “Max” Schuessler noted on the call that the average payment card ticket fell about 6%, apparently as businesses and residents reduce recovery-related big-ticket purchases and return to more normal purchase activity.

Evertec’s recent merchant-acquiring initiatives include the introduction of a pay-at-the-table service for restaurants, the launch of pvot, a cloud-based point-of-sale system for small and mid-size businesses, and e-commerce and mobile functionality for the ATH network

Quarterly net income more than tripled to $20.2 million from $5.83 million a year earlier. Full-year net income increased 56% to $86.6 million from 2017’s $55.1 million.

Evertec is expecting slower revenue growth this year, in the range of 2% to 5%. The company’s fortunes are partially dependent on the success of Puerto Rico’s still incomplete hurricane recovery, and the ability of the commonwealth’s government to deal with its heavy debt load and secure aid from the U.S. Congress.

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