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SIA announces its Q1 2021 financial results, posting strong growth of revenues (€182.3m) and EBITDA

 SIA’s Board of Directors, meeting under the chairmanship of Federico Lovadina, approved the consolidated financial results at 31 March 2021, up on the first quarter of 2020.

CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL RESULTS AT 31 MARCH 2021

€M   Q1 2021   Q1 2020   Q1 2021 vs Q1 2020
Card & Merchant Solutions 124.0 114.3 8.4%
Digital Payment Solutions 36.7 32.2 13.9%
Capital Market & Network Solutions 21.6 20.7 4.3%
Total Revenues 182.3 167.3 9.0%
Personnel and related expenses 57.9 52.5 10.4%
Operating Costs 61.5 57.0 8.0%
Total Costs 119.5 109.4 9.2%
EBITDA 62.8 57.8 8.6%

In the first quarter of 2021, SIA Group reported revenues of €182.3 million, up 9.0% YoY, entirely on an organic basis. Revenues maintained a geographical diversification in line with 2020, approximately 70% in Italy and 30% abroad.

EBITDA amounted to €62.8 million, up 8.6% on the same period last year, with an EBITDA margin of 34%.

At the level of the market segments in which SIA Group operates, the following results were obtained in the first quarter:

  • Card & Merchant Solutions, representing 68% of the total revenues generated by the Group – approximately split between activities linked to issuing (63%) and acquiring (37%) services – recorded revenues of €124 million, up 8.4% on the same period of 2020. In the quarter, the segment benefited from a significant growth in revenues mainly related to issuing transactions (+8% YoY), thanks to the positive trend in volumes and the startup of services for new customers;
  • Digital Payment Solutions, representing 20% of the Group’s total revenues, recorded revenues of €36.7 million, up 13.9% on the same period of 2020. The segment was positively impacted by the performance of revenues from volumes managed in particular in Clearing and Gateway services (+9% YoY) and the development of projects in the Clearing and Public Sector areas;
  • Capital Market & Network Solutions, representing 12% of the Group’s total revenues, reported revenues of €21.6 million, up 4.3% on the same period of 2020, due to growth in Network Services volumes (up 21% YoY).

In the first quarter of 2021, costs amounted to €119.5 million, an increase of 9.2% YoY compared to the same quarter in 2020 which already included some measures for reduction of non-recurring costs due to the Covid emergency. This rise is due to higher personnel costs (+10.4% YoY) incurred for organic growth and to higher operating costs (+8.0% YoY) related to the increase in business activities.

As of 31 March 2021, Net Financial Debt amounted to €919.1 million, compared to €688.6 million at the end of 2020, as a result of the financing the Group resorted to in order to enable the completion of a number of strategic transactions during the quarter.

MAIN BUSINESS EVENTS AND INITIATIVES STARTED UP IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2021

Corporate Events

On 11 February, following the approval of the Boards of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, CDP Equity, Mercury UK, SIA and Nexi, the definitive agreement was signed relating to the merger by incorporation of SIA into Nexi (respectively, the “Merger” and the “Framework Agreement”), in line with the terms and conditions of the Memorandum of Understanding signed and announced on 5 October 2020. The completion of the Merger is conditional on the meeting of certain suspensive conditions standard for transactions of this type, and the obtainment of the related authorizations, including that of the Antitrust Authority concerned. In addition, the transaction is subject to a vote through the so-called whitewash[1] mechanism in the context of the Extraordinary General Meeting of Nexi called to approve the Merger.

Business Events

UniCredit and SIA signed an agreement on the updating of the overall terms of the current outsourcing contract for the provision of certain processing services in Italy, Austria and Germany relating to card transactions and the management of POS and ATM terminals. The new terms have made it possible for the SIA Group to renew the agreement until 2036.

Card & Merchant Solutions

SIA was chosen by fintech ZEN as technology partner for its new online payment card platform. Under the agreement, SIA’s digital infrastructure will manage the processing of transactions made with physical and virtual payment cards issued by ZEN for online and offline payments in over 150 currencies.

Digital Payment Solutions

SIA entered into a partnership with Finleap Connect to offer new open banking services to European banks, financial institutions and fintechs. The agreement will enable the integration of the respective PSD2-compliant solutions, allowing for the adoption at international level of innovative use cases based on Accounting Information Services (AIS) and Payment Initiation Services (PIS), thus boosting the development of new applications for digital payments across various channels.

SIA and Fidor Solutions have signed a collaboration agreement for the launch of the latter’s new instant payment service in Germany and other European countries, which will enable European financial institutions and their customers to transfer money in real time up to €100,000 per single transaction, in compliance with the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer scheme of the European Payments Council.

Capital Market & Network Solutions

SIA has signed a partnership with WizKey, a fintech offering innovative solutions to the credit market, for the launch of an innovative platform available to banks, funds and financial operators to negotiate loans on blockchain and promote greater liquidity to the benefit of SMEs. The initiative aims to create an ecosystem that will make it possible to manage, through SIA’s technology infrastructure, the entire process of loan negotiation and assignment, also as part of NPL securitization transactions.

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS OCCURRING AFTER THE CLOSE OF THE QUARTER

On 7 April 2021, the Ordinary Shareholders’ Meeting of SIA met, under the chairmanship of Federico Lovadina, and approved the company’s draft financial statements as at 31 December 2020 and the allocation of the profit entirely to reserves, thus contributing to strengthening the company’s capital structure.

The Shareholders’ Meeting also resolved to confirm as Director Paolo Calcagnini, who had already been co-opted by the company’s Board of Directors on 5 March 2021.

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